Woodshock administrators Kate and Laura Mulleavy acquired their begin on the planet of trend design, which explains quite a bit. What’s enchanting and enigmatic in a fashion-themed brief movie may be downright coma-inducing stretched to full size, and the sisters’ characteristic directorial debut is, sadly, the kind of overly languid navel-gazing that makes individuals skeptical of arthouse style movies, and arthouse movies in generally. Viewers who thought nothing a lot occurred in It Comes At Night time are suggested to steer clear.
Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy
Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole, Pilou Asbæk, Jack Kilmer
Choose theaters September 22
Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, who we see sharing a joint along with her terminally in poor health mom within the opening scene of the movie. Quickly after, the mattress the place her mom laid is empty, and Theresa and her associate Nick (Joe Cole) have moved into the home in accordance with Theresa’s mother’s final needs. Nick is a logger of some kind, and Theresa works at a marijuana dispensary owned by the bearded, menacing Keith (Pilou Asbæk), the place she fetishistically fills, counts, labels, and usually handles small jars of pot, every making an AMSR-worthy “clink” as she locations them on the glass counter. The remainder of the time, she smokes the product of her labors, dipped within the contents of a small glass jar that’s the supply of friction between her and Keith. A pair individuals die offscreen, some dialogue is exchanged, and a few boards are hammered right into a yard, which could be very worrying for cryptic causes. However largely, individuals simply stare off into area as Theresa drifts farther and farther from actuality and redwoods sway gently within the Northern California breeze.
There’s no denying the Mulleavys’ refined style. The cinematography is as thick as plush velvet, every scene attuned to breathtaking shade schemes that vary from baby-soft pastels to Dario Argento-worthy splashes of jewel-toned shade. The psychedelic results of Theresa’s thriller drug are rendered in montages paying homage to pioneering experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, and the soundtrack is filled with impeccably curated post-punk stoner pop that units the hazy temper. However, when you look previous all of the hipster-luxe aesthetic trappings, it’s apparent that there’s no actual there there. Character improvement and motivation are virtually nonexistent, and the already-thin plot pushes ambiguity to the purpose of incoherence. It’s like Nocturnal Animals, if the whole movie were Amy Adams taking a bath.
Dunst looks great curled up in the fetal position on the polished dark wood floors of her mom’s house, or in the tastefully shabby vintage bathroom with pink ceramic sink, or out in the majesty of the forest. Artful inner tumult is an acting skill Dunst has demonstrated time and time again, from The Virgin Suicides to Melancholia. But those were characters whose psyches we wanted to explore. Here, she’s the boring, shallow kind of cipher, wandering around in effortlessly fashionable underwear. Putting a 21st-century stoner twist on leisure-class ennui is a great idea for a photo shoot, if not for a feature film, and the Mulleavy sisters have the ability to heighten the aesthetics of anything they touch. Next time, though, they should let someone else write the script.