Reviews by Paul Preston
Welcome to Today I Watched…, a series of posts documenting my new challenge – watch a movie a day for the rest of my life. Keep coming back to TheMovieGuys.net to find out what I watch each day…and get my take on it.
When I see a movie that’s a new release in theaters or on demand, I’ll give it a proper review in the “Reviews” or “Home Viewing”, otherwise, I’ll write about it here.
June 22, 2017 – Krisha
After seeing It Comes at Night, I wanted to go back and see the first film from its director, Trey Edward Shults, Krisha. It’s a very different film from It Comes at Night, except for one standout factor – it has a well-thought out directorial signature. I know I beat the phrase “directorial signature” into the keyboard of my laptop a lot, but it’s so refreshing to see one in the age of producer-driven franchises.
Krisha is presumably an autobiographical tale of sorts, about a woman named Krisha, with a weathered, well-worn look about her, returning to her family for Thanksgiving (her son’s name is Trey). Throughout the day, the relationships she has with various family members are revealed. Some people support her, some are disgusted by her, and we realize the variety of opinions is the result of Krisha’s challenges with sobriety and substance abuse.
The film begins with a long close-up shot of Krisha staring dead into camera on the verge of tears and that is a minimalist yet brilliant foreboding of what’s to come. Krisha spends the film on the verge of wrecking everything – the dinner, the relationships, people’s faith in her. Krisha Fairchild (the actress playing “Krisha”) is up for whatever unpleasantries Shults decides to throw at her, wavering between keeping it together and flying off the handle. She’s enigmatic to watch and is surrounded by a cast who are well-equipped at playing the realism of the moments. Shults’ and DP Drew Daniels’ work is very stylized, and yet has a voyeuristic quality, which is to say it’s a great balance between the two, allowing the viewer both, as opposed to being overwhelmed with either a fly-on-the-wall concept or a show-off piece of camera work.
In the end, this is how you make an indie film debut. The film was shot at Shults’ parents’ house, Farichild is Shults’ aunt in real life and the whole affair never leaves the one location. The trick then is to do as much directing and envisioning as you can with what you’re dealt. Shults has taken the Altman/Cassavetes family gathering with secrets and made it his own. Made it fresh. At under ninety minutes, this is a great, no-risk watch for anyone. It’s hard to believe you wouldn’t be impressed, but if you’re not, it’s over in less than an hour and a half.
June 23, 2017 – Despicable Me 3 – read the review of the Minion-diminished (therefore better) Despicable Me movie in the REVIEWS category of TheMovieGuys.net