“He invalidates her opinions constantly, makes her question herself, steals from her…”
The film has an annoyingly noticeable habit of thrusting its audience into the middle of a conversation with little to no frame of reference. It was a rarity to see a conversation that started organically. I’m sure this was a style choice, but sometimes an idea can be drawn from one to many times, and it gets repetitive and grating. The film would cut to a part featuring a bunch of student filmmakers talking about something, and you’d expend valuable brain energy trying to fill in gaps only for it to have no proper effect on the plot. These sequences did not introduce any main characters or interesting side players, it was just a thing the film did, and it bugged me.
The choice of color is a very grey and muted palette that would have worked if the film’s story had more of darkness to it. Shots linger on the scenery and décor a little too long for my taste. I get it, we have a character in Julie that wants to tell a story about the down and outs, but she lives an extravagantly posh life full of espressos and weekend trips to Paris or whatever, haha, funny joke. We get more people talking down to Julie as she aspires to be a filmmaker dominated by a male presence, and I see the meta-ness as a write this review.
But I’m genuinely happy people enjoyed Joanna Hogg’s film even though I did not. It seems like it’s gaining an audience and I can respect that. This film was not my cup of tea, but you know what? That’s perfectly fine. Not everything has to be made to appease me. I’m sure this film is a very personal and autobiographical project for Hogg, but I don’t identify with the story told here, and I’m not fond of the way it’s told either.
“I totally see Honor Swinton Byrne being a megastar in the making…”
Honor Swinton Byrne is wonderful in the film, but I wish she stood up for herself a bit more and showed more strength. I’m guessing that’s tough when you find yourself loving a “charming” heroin addict, but I would have loved to see more proactivity on her part. Despite the questionable graininess and dreary color choices, the film is competently shot and almost has a documentary type feel to it. Tilda Swinton has a few great scenes in the film, but I feel like she’s basically wasted on the role she’d been given. I couldn’t stand Tom Burke’s smug portrayal of Anthony, and I couldn’t understand the attraction one would have towards someone so up their own ass.