What is more unforgivable than the dilatory, cynical waste of talent dribbling off the screen in Rush is that some critics appear to have fallen for its superficial charms (period cars! sex! third-degree burns!) and are content to overlook its structural deficiencies, not to mention its fundamental pedestrianism.
Wheatley reacquaints himself with his roots in television humor and presents us with something more straightforward than before (there is no doubt you are watching a comedy from start to finish) but which still allows him room to indulge his predilections for unpredictability and all-out gore.
By concentrating less on the pathological aspects of Vincent’s behavior and more on the crushing weight of the trap of work, the pressures and hypocrisies of which have taken him to the edge, Cantet turns the story into a trenchant plea for liberation from salary servitude.
The Thing is not just an unnerving title: by its nature, the enemy, a corrosive alien organism which kills and replicates its prey, has no distinct face or personality of its own—a “conquer and survive” motivation is initially ascribed to it, but it defies any description.
One of the many remarkable things about Howard Hawks’s Rio Bravo is the way it lulls you into believing you’re just watching an ordinary western. For an unlucky few, this sensation might even remain intact right until the end, but chances are that something in the film will break the spell.
Where la Rochelle held what amounted to an unforgivably romantic view of suicide, which the young idealistic Malle embraced, Trier (only a distant relation of Lars) has opted to strip away their stylistic floss to forge, in a soberly formal style, a raw and relevant portrait of Scandinavian suffering.