Denis Cote's Boris Without Beatrice is another singular vision from the enigmatic Canadian filmmaker, an introspective, adult fairy-tale about the pitfalls of vanity, which details the exploits of Boris, a wealthy businessman whose wife Beatrice, a high-profile politician, has fallen into a deep-seeded form of depression. Cote's film details a man in Boris who has grown cold and impatient to nearly everyone around him, with his stoic, business-focused demeanor creating a sense of detachment between not only Boris and his wife, but also his daughter who seemingly has an almost non-existent relationship due to Boris' misguided priorities. When a mysterious (and supernatural) stranger, played by the incomparable Denis Lavant, accuses Boris of being the man solely responsible for his wife's catatonic state, Boris begins to slowly reevaluate his life choices, a decision that slowly begins to reveal a man who wants nothing more than to be a better husband and father to those in his life he truly cares about. Denis Cote's Boris Without Beatrice is a detailed, honest portrait of a man in Boris who has lost sight of what is truly important in life, a man whose inherent hubris and vanity has left him naked to the pain he causes around him. Cote's film works quite well due to its ability to never fully demonize its central protagonist, understanding that Boris himself is a man of flesh and blood, with the film never delivering a plain, agenda-driven caricature of the inherent coldness of power and money, but a man who has lost his way. Boris Without Beatrice offers a compelling portrait of a character who is used to getting what he wants, detailing the general demeanor of a man in Boris who has never really had to do anything any other way but his way, due to his tremendous success as a businessman. His impatience with dealing with even the smallest details of inefficiency are fully realized through his interactions with everyone, from a sales clerk to his own family, with Cote painting a portrait of a man who simply has grown accustomed to being right and in charge. Even Boris' own stride, his movements, are assured, calculating, and efficient, with Cote creating a characterization that may not be very likable at times, but who is fully-realized, fair, and compelling. While Boris Without Beatrice never makes excuses for Boris' overall stern demeanor the film provides a compelling portrait of emotional pain, exhibiting how suffering and depression tend to lead to combustible anger, with Boris often coming across as very irritable, due in part to the pain he is going through. Boris is a mere mortal, and no matter how successful or prideful he is, he crumbles under the sheer powerlessness he finds himself in, unable to deal with idea that he can't control the situation. Throughout the film's running time Boris finds himself entering into sexual relations with two characters who are not his wife, almost as if sex is Boris' only form of personal connection, detailing how Boris as a character has become emotionally bewildered, only capable of feeling comfortable around those he can be physically intimate with. While some will surely find this aspect of the film appalling, I'd argue it's an important aspect of expressing Boris's struggles a character, detailing how his own lack of control and hubris have left him emotionally damaged, jumping into intimacy as a way of deflecting his own pain of seeing his wife in such a catatonic state. While Boris' own neglect is primarily to blame, which we learn due to the supernal, mysterious Denis Lavant, perhaps what rings the most truthful throughout Boris Without Beatrice is the importance of empathy and respect, with Boris reconnecting with his wife, mother, and daughter, due more to being respectful of their differences of opinion and general well-being, finally understanding their perspective towards why they feel so much pain, with his love for them being much more valuable in the end then their differences of opinion when it comes to the importance of financial success. An introspective fairytale about the dangers of vanity and hubris, Denis Cote's Boris Without Beatrice is another one-of-a-kind experience, a film that works incredibly well due to its strong, fair, and fascinating central character.
Mickey Keating's Darling is the type of film that works best when viewed as an artistic mood piece, a film that shows far more interest in delivering a perverse, stylish genre exercise full of atmosphere and ambiance than it does in delivering a fully realized horror film. Ambiguous in nature, Darling is centered around an ominous house located deep in the heart of the city, chronicling the slow-burning psychosis of a young woman who was hired to be the caretaker of this old home. Providing answers of any kind is no interest to the filmmakers of Darling, with the film being quite bare-bones in terms of narrative and plot, opting instead to focus on its perverse descent into insanity which finds our main protagonist slowly reaching the edge of madness as she attempts to make sense of the peculiar occurrences which surrounds her. Reminiscent of Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Darling's black and white aesthetic of piercing whites and muted blacks provide ample atmosphere and intrigue to its story of one woman's unraveling psychosis, with the film subtlety suggesting that the mansions long corridors, odd sounds, and confinement may have triggered deep-seeded insecurities inside our protagonist, with these mysterious, supernatural forces using her underlying loneliness and solitude to drive her to such heinous acts of violence later in the film. Darling is a film which aims to create an abstraction of terror, remaining very ambiguous throughout its running time as it attempts to create this horror-soaked atmosphere where anything and everything feels in the realm of possibility. As a mood piece, Darling can be quite impressive in execution, particularly from a cinematography perspective, with the film's use of symmetrical composition and depth of field creating a voyeuristic atmosphere that brings the house itself to life, giving the impression that our main protagonist is being watched by some malevolent force. The slow and methodical deterioration of this woman's sanity is certainly one of the most compelling attributes of Darling, but the filmmakers stylish sound design at times feels far too didactic in approach. Featuing an overabundance of piercing sounds, Darling telegraphs to the audience exactly how to feel far too often, while doing so in a way that at times makes the whole experience feel cheap, with the film trying to hard to create its terror-soaked atmosphere, almost as if the filmmakers themselves lacked faith in their own stylish, atmospheric vision. A film that could certainly be classified as style over substance, Mickey Keating's Darling is a slow burning descent into madness, being a film that offers very little in terms of narrative while offering an abundance of mood. Oh, and props to the filmmakers for the always warranted Larry Fessenden cameo.
Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine is a stunning accomplishment, a documentary that is part psychological thriller, part sociological study, delivering a one-of-a-kind piece of filmmaking that cements Robert Greene as one of the most essentially contemporary filmmakers working today. Centered around Actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to portray the role of Christine Chubbuck, a real-life news reporter who killed herself on national television in 1974, Robert Greene's Kate Play Christine offers a detailed study into the creative process, one that divulges into psychological thriller due to Kate Lyn Sheil's dedication to her craft. Kate Plays Christine is a piece of filmmaking that feels continually evolving, starting off as a intricate examination of an actresses creative process, one that finds Kate diving into the gruesome details of this woman's suicide as she attempts to understand and relate to this character. The deeper and deeper Kate Lyn Sheil digs into the details of the life of Christine, the more she becomes protective of this woman, intent on making sure that the integrity of this woman's life is not stomped upon due to the toxic details of her death. As the film progresses, Greene beautifully juxtaposes the details of Christine Chubbuck's life, namely her depression and perspective of the world, with that of Kate Lyn Sheil's own insecurities, drawing parallels between these two individuals, each of which has their own moments of anxiety, depression, and pain. While the psychological study of Kate Lyn Sheil is the driving force between the narrative of this fascinating documentary, Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine elevates itself well beyond merely an in-depth look at the creative process of an actress, exposing what Christine Chubbuck's life and death says about society itself, one in which humanities penchant for saliciousness and violence comes first, with empathy placing a distant second. The film exposes our collective culture's infatuation with tragedy and death, examining how little reflection is spent on deconstructing the the pain and anguish that led someone to commit such an heinous act, detailing how we as a society still have a long way to go when it comes to dealing with depression. Neither fetishising nor glorifying this startling act of suicide, Robert Greene's film simply exposes how Christine Chubbuck gained more notoriety and attention in death than life, exposing the true tragedy that exists in a sensationalist-fueled society which only shows an interest in a lonely and depressed individual after they commit the ultimate act of surrender. Kate Plays Christine argues that the salaciousness of the news, how it focuses on "the blood and guts" is simply a biproduct of a much larger disease in society, one that still fails to acknowledge that depression and pain are ingrained in the very essence of the human experience and must be treated accordingly. Through Kate's research of this deeply tragic story Robert Greene's film becomes quite angry as it reaches towards its conclusion, loudly expressing the importance of perpetually having a conversation about and acknowledging the far-reaching nature of depression in our society, recognizing that it's something that can happen to anyone given the cold, harsh reality of the world itself. The final shot of the film only emphasizes this brooding anger, a scene which finds Kate Lyn Sheil in character as Christine Chubbock carrying out the final sequence, the actual suicide. Emotionally ravaged, Kate Lyn Sheil angrily states she can't go through with filming the suicide, screaming that she doesn't want to give the audience the violence they want to see. The sequence is startling, meta, and jarring, beautifully exhibiting the angry rally cry of the filmmakers, pleading for us as a culture, society, and species to always see the importance of life over death, pleading that we stop glamorizing the deaths of these tragic stories, hoping we instead can focus on their lives when lived and attempt to understand how someone can fall so deeply into despair. Haunting, illuminating, transfixing, and profound, Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine is an extremely well-made piece of documentary filmmaking which further establishes Robert Greene as one of the essential contemporary filmmakers working in non-fiction.
Taking place in 1967 at the height of the Cold War, Matthew Johnson's Operation Avalanche tells the story of Matt and Owen, two ambitious, young CIA agents who have some specialization that relates to production and video services. The tension surrounding the cold war has bled into all phases of life, with NASA's space program being the new focal point of this stand off between the United States and the Soviet Union, with each nation intent on being first to the moon. Going undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole, Matt and Owen soon find their tireless ambitions getting the best of them when Matt proposes an elaborate plan to stage the whole moon landing, an ambitious proposal that is agreed upon by their superiors in the government, which unfortunately and inevitably puts both of their lives in danger. Matt Johnson is one of the true auteurs of indie, contemporary cinema due his ability to create unique stories that defy typical genre classification. Much like his previous film The Dirties, Operation Avalanche is another such film that beautifully lulls the viewer to sleep with its charismatic charm, characters, and creativity, only to reveal a much darker, thought-provoking experience in the end. With its narrative centered around the conspiracy theory that the US government staged the moon landing, Operation Avalanche is material perfect for Matt Johnson's strengths, being a filmmaker whose love and passion for cinema is felt throughout every frame. Much of Operation Avalanche pulsates with energy and optimism, mirroring the spirited ambition of Matt who simply wants to prove himself to his superiors, tapping into the creative mindset of filmmaking to stage this elaborate hoax. For much of the film one could argue that Operation Avalanche is about the magic of filmmaking and creativity itself, with Matt and Owen solving the government's problem through ingenuity and creativity, regardless of the ethical questions raised by this type of cover up they are enabling. Of course this type of energy and optimism begins to fade when Matt begins to finely see beyond his own ambition, realizing the cold, mechanical nature of government bureaucracy and it's penchant for determining what is best for the greater good. In this sense, Operation Avalanche becomes a story of the perils of ambition, with Matt and Owen's very lives being endangered due primarily to Matt's desire to prove his worth. Throughout Operation Avalanche there is an undercurrent of this unsettling reality, but the film's tone remains light and humorous, clinging onto Matt's own ambition blinding mindset. Towards the end of the film, Operation Avalanche is almost unrecognizable from its earlier tone, descending into a tenser experience, one that reflects the true seriousness of the situation in which these characters find themselves, one in which Matt himself is a liability to the great lie the government must now protect and conceal at all costs. Operation Avalanche's technical attributes are also impressive, especially when considering the budget restrictions, with the filmmakers effectively creating the look and feel of the late 60s, using various film stocks to give the film the same grainy look and feel, while also intercutting archival footage at times to only strengthens the authentic look and feel of this wild conspiracy theory inspired subject matter. Matt Johnson's Operation Avalanche is a film that touches on a wide array of emotions throughout its running time, being a film that defies traditional genre classification while delivering its tale about the perils of ambition.
Margaret Byrne's Raising Bertie is an in-depth, six-year portrait of a small rural community in Bertie Country, North Carolina, documenting the journey of three young African American boys as they near adulthood and are confronted with the reality and responsibilities that come with it. All three boys profiled, Davonte, Reginald, and David, attend The Hive, an alternative school for struggling children, but when its funding gets shut down by the public school system, all three subjects find their resolve tested as they attempt to define themselves and build a future in this environment where opportunities are hard to find. Raising Bertie is a powerful story of determination, environment, culture, and circumstance, a film which provides three detailed portraits of rural youth, exhibiting their shared struggles of circumstance and environment, while also detailing their unique attributes with define them as an individual. An organic experience, Raising Bertie is an observational documentation, a film that doesn't go out of its way to point out generational poverty, educational equity, and race, instead letting various socioeconomically issues unfold naturally in front of its lens, offering a complex, valuable portrait of the lives of three young boys that details how complex and difficult their experiences can be. The film never blatantly talks about parenting or family, but what becomes rather noticeable throughout Raising Bertie is the overall lack of male role models, with all three of these young boys having relatively poor relationships with their fathers. The toxic effects of how culture defines masculinity is an undercurrent that runs throughout the film, with all three young boys introspectively struggling to define themselves in a culture that tells young men to "be a man" and make no excuses for themselves. The harmful nature of this relationship, one which reinforces toughness and accountability while not providing guidance or fatherly role models is one of the more interesting aspects of Raising Bertie, a complexity which in a sense fuels the generational poverty which all three of these young boys find themselves a victim of. The importance of education and what that means is another major aspect of Raising Bertie, a film that details how education is a form of empowerment for these young individuals. The contrast between The Hive and the public schools is felt often throughout Raising Bertie, as the film becomes a rather powerful documentation of the need for more personal connection in education, one that encourages the individual through positive reinforcement and personal relationships, not simple regurgitation. When these three young boys transfer to public school, they by-and-large struggle, with the film documenting the cold, impersonal nature of the public education system, one that is more focused on regurgitation of information than igniting the minds of the youth who enter and exit its grounds. While Raising Bertie touches on a host of fascinating and important issues that effect these young men, the film never forgets that it's first and foremost a documentation of these three characters, offering a means for these young men to express themselves and define their own wants, desires, and struggles, a decision that makes the larger thematic ideals all the more powerful, due to the personal and emotional investment the audience, and filmmaker, have for these characters. Detailing the lives of Devonte, David, and Reginald, Raising Bertie is a longitudinal documentary that provides no easy answers, offering up a powerful and profound evocation of a variety of complex and important issues facing rural American youth.
Marcin Wrona's Demon is an introspective study of regret and internal anguish masquerading as a horror film, telling the story of Piotr, a bridegroom, who on the day of his own wedding celebration becomes possessed by some type of unquiet spirit. Featuring hazy, foggy exteriors, dimly lit interiors that feature high contrast lighting, and eerie sound design, Demon is a film that effectively creates an atmosphere of horror and intrigue centered around its story, enticing the viewer with its atmospheric tone which suggests true evil is lurking around every corner. Marcin Wrona's film begins as an intriguing ghost story, with Piotr struggling to understand the strange happenings he is experiencing on the very cusp of his wedding day This aspect of the film takes place very much in the headspace of Piotr, documenting the anxiety and confusion this character faces as the slow-moving effects of his possession become more and more dramatic as his wedding ceremony draws near. Marcin Wrona's film's atmosphere is felt throughout the wedding ceremony, with the filmmaker beautifully juxtaposing the chaotic nature of any wedding with the horror of possession, with Marcin Wrona using Piotr's natural anxiety about impressing his wife's family and friends as the perfect counterbalance to the character's demonic visions and strange occurrences he is experiencing. When Piotr's wife and family realize his behavior isn't merely anxiety and nerves, Demon finds its wings as a film, becoming a truly ambiguous yet piercing study of regret and pain. Starting off as an intriguing ghost story, Marcin Wrona's Demon completely subverts the expectations of the viewer in its back half, venturing into complete abstraction as the film provides an ambiguous meditation on historical amnesia. This is a film that provides no simple answers to the viewer, only questions, with Piotr's possessesion serving as a catalyst that triggers the deep-seeded despair and regret lurking in the past of some of Piotr's father-in-law, among others, whose burden, while ambiguous, is very much experienced. Ambiguous and abstract as to what actually is haunting these characters, Demon will frustrate many viewers who want some type of closure into the unquiet's spirits purpose, yet what Marcin Piotr has created feels nonetheless deeply personal, being a film that attempts to capture the deep-seeded pain which exists in the unspoken word, establishing characters such as Piotr's father-in-law who appear to be haunted by the past in one way or another. While Marcin Wrona's Demon could certainly have delivered more bite from a horror perspective early on, the film slowly reveals itself not as a horror film about possession but one about the burden in which the past can have on the present, with Demon touching on some primal ideals of horror that every individual who has any form of past regret can relate too, no matter how abstract the film's narrative and characterizations may become.
Yoshishige Yoshida's Farewell to the Summer Light is a poetic, sensory experience, a film that serves as a great companion piece to Resnais' Hiroshima, Mon Amour due to its reflective exploration of love, memory, individualism, and companionship. Taking place across Europe, the film documents the spontaneous romance that unfolds between, Kawamura, a Japanese professor touring Europe on holiday, and Naoko, a married woman living in Paris who remains scarred by the Nagasaki atomic bombings of a few decades ago. Yoshishige Yoshida's Farewell to the Summer Light is the type of film that feels like a dream, a hallucinatory exploration into the psyche of two individuals, each of which is struggling to find themselves. The shared connection between these two characters offers simply a window into understanding them as individuals, with Farewell to the Summer Light offering such maturity and vision in this deconstruction of an adulterous romance, one that attempts to understand how these characters reached this exact moment in life, exhibiting how their past experiences and personal experiences have brought them towards each other. Introspective in its examination of love, companionship, memory, and time, Farewell To The Summer Light is an honest film about the concept of love itself, examining how it restricts individualism and eludes simple restrictive definitions, being a concept that transcends time itself. Reality and perception of what love is and what it means are a major component of Farewell to the Summer LIght, with both Naoko & Kawamura's shared perceptions of this undefinable construct being what shapes their spontaneous, yet conflicted romance. Naoko's connection to Kawamura is one of restrained desire, a character who feels indebted to her husband and unwilling to betray him. She views her journey with Kawamura through Europe as a way to reconfirm her commitments and the life she has chosen for herself in Europe, unwilling at first to acknowledge that her sense of connection and attraction for Kawamura stems from how he reminds her of Japan, most specifically pre-war Japan in which she maintains fond memories. Through her turbulent relationship with Kawamura, Naoko slowly begins to reclaim her own sense of happiness and individualism, with Kawamura being a character who forces Naoko to confront her past sorrow while empowering her to reclaim her own definition of love and happiness, one that isn't entirely linked to the safety, comfort, and security which her husband provides. While Naoko is coming from a place of deceptive comfort, Kawamura is a character who is alone and searching for something, with his meaningless search for the phantom cathedral being a symbolic representation of his endless search for love. Naoko is a character who offers him some semblance of companionship and connection, empowering Kawamura as a character to maintain his sense of hope while simultaneously shattering his romanticized version of what love truly means. While Introspective and ambiguous, it's through this relationship that Naoko and Kawamura share that both these characters find some semblance of peace and understanding, with Farewell to the Summer Light exhibiting how companionship can offer an introspective examination into oneself, where self-reflection can lead to personal growth as an individual. It's through their shared experience that perception meets reality, with both Naoko and Kawamura able to free themselves from the preconceived ideals about love forced on them by society, with each character finding their own definition of what it means to truly love. From a visual perspective, Farewell to the Summer Light is striking, with Yoshida's use of visual design perfectly exhibiting the introspective, confused state of his characters, one in which the tug and pull of their spontaneously evolving relationship is expressed in every frame. Early on, the back-and-forth nature of Naoko and Kawamura's budding relationship is expressed visually through disjointed photography and composition that rejects the natural flow of visual storytelling, featuring jarring editing that beautifully illictis the emotional chaos that can exist in a chance encounter where feelings are mixed but the connection is undeniable. Throughout Farewell to the Summer Light, Yoshida's film feels like part travelogue, part introspective romance, with the photography capturing the beauty of the region while simultaneously providing an introspective look at these characters. Europe's ancient ruins and old architecture paired with wide-lensed photography provide a sense of scale to the whole experience, with Naoko and Kawamura's shared connection being powerful and universal while also minuscule when compared to the grand scale of time. Part travelogue, part introspective romance, Yoshida's Farewell To The Summer Light is a transfixing experience, a film that touches on host of profound ideas exploring the relationship and connection between love, memory, and time.
Danny Perez's Antibirth introduces a world full of depravity through the lens of a small, impoverished town in Michigan full of disenfranchised youth and drug-addled veterans, in what feels like a desolate place at the edge of the world. Lou and her friend, Sadie, live their lives one pot hit at a time, living a debaucherous lifestyle full of drugs, sex and bad decisions. One morning, Lou wakes up after a wild night of partying to symptoms of pregnancy, feeling uneasy and struggling to stay away from the toilet bowl rim. These symptoms are coupled with the fact that Lea has begun to have bizarre, reoccurring visions making her newfound illness as mysterious as it is painful. Danny Perez's Antibirth is an absurdist horror treat, a film that is perhaps best described as body horror meets drug film, using the stigma of unwanted pregnancy to fuel this subversive, offbeat tale. Antibirth is a film that shows little interest in coherence early on, throwing the viewer into this sleazy, debaucherous world, one in where strange happenings are admist but the viewer is left just as much in the dark as the inebriated protagonist. Antibirth goes out of its way to be bizarre, ambiguous, and confrontational, showing a certain glee in its subversive brand of horror that bring a lot of avant garde elements to the table. The ramshackle nature of this film makes it hard to decipher the supernatural from the hallucinatory, with Lou's dazed psyche and overall state of confusion making the whole film a strangely lovable experience. While it's far from a deal breaker, I do wish the film would have been more excessive with its gore and violence, matching the same gleeful amount of sleaze and depravity the film thrives on. A singular horror film that blends body horror with drug comedy, Antibirth is a bizarre, hallucinatory horror film that should be enjoyed by the more adventurous filmgoer.
Seong-hun Kim's Tunnel is a tale of perseverance, survival, and hope, telling the story of Jung-su, an ordinary man, who on his way home for his daughter's birthday unexpectedly finds himself in the fight of his life. Blending tropes of survival horror, disaster films, and introspective drama, Tunnel is an engaging experience about a man who finds himself trapped under thousands of pounds of rock, dirt, and concrete after a poorly constructed tunnel collapses with him inside. Tunnel is a well made film, with Seong-hun Kim exhibiting the type of claustrophobic environment our main protagonist finds himself in, with the cinematography and sound design playing an important role in establishing the true horror of being in this type of situation. A film with a surprising amount of scope, Tunnel begins as what appears to be a tight, straightforward piece of survival horror only to unfold into an expansive story touching on shortcomings of the government, the media's unquestionable thirst for a story, human error, and the importance of humanities' empathy towards one and other. Tunnel portrays both the media and government in less than positive lights, exhibiting how the media's desires are always rooted in the best possible headline while simultaneously showcasing the slog of government, a governing body that must always examine every situation void of the importance of the individual. Both the media and the government's interest in Jung-su are rooted in some form of selfishness, with the true empathy shown in the Tunnel being the individual rescue workers who work day and night attempting to do the impossible for the sake of human life. Though one could certainly argue that the film's length evokes the feeling of hopelessness and misery one would associate from being stuck underground for 35 days, Tunnel does overstay its welcome towards the end, with the film's narrative unable to completely support its 2+ hour running time. Tunnel is a serious story of survival, but Seong-hun Kim peppers his film with a lot of humor throughout, a film that takes advantage of the uncomfortable nature of such a struggle of survival, bordering on absurd humor to criticize the intentions of the media and government trying to save Seong-hun Kim. Seong-hun Kim's Tunnel is a thrilling experience that may be a tad overlong, a film that never pretends situations like this are anything but difficult, showcasing both the positive and negative aspects of human nature and society.
Clint Eastwood's latest film, Sully, is the story of Chesley Sullenberger, a US Airways pilot who became a national hero after performing an emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 crew and passengers. Clint Eastwood's film approaches the "Miracle on the Hudson" from the personal perspective of Chesley Sullenberer, telling a story of a man who was heralded by the public, but maligned internally by an unfolding investigation into the incident which threatened his entire career and reputation as a pilot. Approaching this film from a near biopic point of view, Clint Eastwood's Sully delivers an in depth portrait of an ordinary man thrust into the spotlight, documenting the weight which society as a whole can place on the individual when they are elevated above mere citizen and into herorism. From the media and public heralding Sully as a hero, to suffocating mechanization of review process that threatens his very livelihood, Sully is a character drowning under the pressures of the world around, with the two conflicting perspectives of his actions, tugging and pulling for attention in his headspace. Structurally, Sully is told through a narrative that oscillates between the near horrific events and the aftermath, depicting Sully's tortured psyche, one which routinely second guesses himself as he replays the events that day, over and over in his head. At its core, Sully is a film about the pressures of society, how ones perceived heroism can elevate the individual to uncomfortable heights. The general public and media worship Sully as a hero, praising him, wanting to spend more time with him, which leads to Sully's entire life being intruded upon, with the pressures of the internal investigation and the demands of the outside world weighing down a man who simply believes he was doing his job that he has built his life around. Clint Eastwood's Sully has its flaws, featuring some side characters that are damn near detrimental to the film's overall deconstruction of the psyche of its main protagonist. These side characters aren't cartoons, they simply feel very uninteresting and one-dimensional when compared to Sully, characters who must be documented for the sake of creating the stakes but who unfortunately feel like more of a distraction at times from Sully's more engaging, personal journey. Eastwood latest film can also feel heavy handed at times, from its message about heroism, to media ssensationalism, and governmental bureaucracy, but what keeps this film as steady as a rock is Tom Hank's tortured performance as Chesley Sullenberger, a man who is feeling tremendous pressure from the world.
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