[What Did Jaci Think? Late May]

Obviously most of my time was devoted to SIFF, but I also took some time out for a few non-SIFF features:

Tully was excellent, a film which, through the lens of the very specific challenges of motherhood, is about examining the difference between one’s life now and the life one imagined having as a younger person. It’s thoroughly lived-in (I knew exactly how the house smelled) and honest in a way we rarely see on screen about the day-to-day ways in which being a parent is hard work.

A different take on motherhood, Breaking In (basically Panic Room in reverse) was not nearly as much fun as it should have been, but really all I wanted was to see Gabrielle Union kick the asses of a bunch of dudes, and I had MoviePass & an open time slot, so there you go.

Solo was fun enough and totally unnecessary, a movie that had me thinking a lot about the movie I wished I was watching instead. One that treated ladies better, obviously, and one that focused on Lando & L3, but also still one lit by Bradford Young. Probably one with a better villain too, but I predictably loved scarred Paul Bettany swanning around in a cape and slicing people open. I still cannot bring to mind the name or the face of the kid who plays Solo, & unlike the other new Star Wars films, I will probably never watch it again.

I’ve seen Stalker once before, but it was an entirely different movie in the theater, forcing my fuller attention, especially important in such a dreamlike film. Plus, it was just wonderful to see everything properly, since it is so full of texture. If you dug Annihilation and have the temperament for slow cinema, you should venture into the original Zone with Stalker.

Beast had me guessing all the way through about what had really happened and how I felt about it. It’s the story of a young woman, an outsider in her own life and family, who meets a young man with whom she has an immediate and intense attraction. Unfortunately… he’s strongly suspected by the townspeople of murdering several teen girls.

Moll, her yellow sundress a clear callback to Disney’s Belle, is pure feral female desire in a way we don’t see enough in film. Truly, both of them are both Beauty and the Beast. Until I saw Eighth Grade, Jessie Buckley was my best actress pick of SIFF2018, & honestly, it’s still a close call. Despite not catching the SIFF screening, Beast is one of my favorite films of the festival.