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April 28, 2021 / barton smock

(further on former films

We Don’t Belong Here is anchored by a trenchant performance by Catherine Keener, and is also wonderfully adrift in the presence of its lead, Kaitlyn Dever.  Anton Yelchin and Riley Keough are also excellent, both sweet and dark, and Yelchin’s lines about death can’t help but feel far from home, but close to homecoming.  It doesn’t quite get where it’s going or know where it’s returning to, but is careful with its oddities of faith.  

Frank and Lola asks its two leads, Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots, to do too little with too much…but both are intense and Poots actually steals more than Shannon.  The whole endeavor is at first sad and a little mean, and then less sad and more mean.  There is a scene where the two leads part, and it is a killer.  The film has a great look; an emptiness trying to drain itself. 

The Levelling is all facial tic and repression, and registers wholly.  It starts in the middle of things being gutted, gives its hollowness space, and lets its finale fill with the missing.  Ellie Kendrick is the real thing, is oracle, and David Troughton tricks silence into doing the work of response.  It’s a great film.

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