The Prodigy

This has several tried and true horror tropes and scenery – the evil kid, the spooky basement, a mother’s love, an agonizing obsession (the hands), a kettle whistling, and a dog alerting of impending doom. However, it doesn’t feel like horror until the third act. Until then, we just get glimpses of what the film could be, and it could have been stellar based on the brand new, to me, idea of reincarnation as a subject.

Taylor Schilling’s performance is believable, but the story itself does not lend to her abilities as an actor. Overall, this film is bland but it could have been fresh and intensely scary. 3/5, I might watch it again.

 

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Velvet Buzzsaw

Sure, this is satire. Sure, it’s about art. But much more than that, it’s about consumption and the meticulousness of the mundane in both interpersonal relationships and consumer relations and when and where the two overlap. It’s the culmination of everything we believe is on the inside of the art world; pretension, overt articulation, and betrayal.

This film, not quite aptly named, brings us Gyllenhaal, Malkovich, and Collette. My Holy Trinity. Although the three are not in a scene together, the remnants of each performance is felt throughout the cuts to the other characters. We are never without the idea of the three and their capabilities and collective clamoring of The Next Big Thing.

Although Gyllenhaal is arguably not the star of the film, his performance stands out a cut above the rest as the only voice of reason in a circle of delusion. He is quick, he is flawed, he is a bisexual dreamboat. His character, Morf, saw an issue with a body of work and how it was presented to the world and the repercussions of breaking with the artists intention, and decided to speak out. And we get the impression that speaking out is much more difficult than not. He is brave, but his bravery reaches a head when he is confronted with his irreconcilable decisions. The character and his complexities lent to Gyllenhaal’s talent.

This is goofy, it’s weird, but it’s beautiful and worth a watch. 5/5, I’ll watch it again.