Movie Diary 8/1/2022

Not Okay (Quinn Shephard, 2022). The touch is a tad off in this satire of an online influencer (Zoey Deutch) and her rise/fall: the jokes are frequently broad-ish and the performances (except for the unerring Deutch and Mia Isaac) just a little pitched toward being funny. Still, the needle is well-aimed, as Deutch’s antiheroine milks public sympathy from surviving a terrorist bombing she was nowhere near. One nice nuance: Deutch’s actual goal is to be a writer – being a popular influencer is merely a means to come to the attention of the gatekeepers so that she can write. Which seems like an accurate observation. On Hulu, the film is preceded by a warning notice that, among other things, the film has “an unlikeable female protagonist,” an amazing way to prep an audience for complexity in our brave new world.

Here Before (Stacey Gregg, 2021). Kudos to the location manager who found a semi-detached house at the end of a long Belfast street, where this exercise in creep takes place. (The house looks real, anyway, rather than CGI.) This one’s worth it for Andrea Riseborough, as a wife & mother whose daughter died in an accident; her attention drifts from her husband (Jonjo O’Neill) and unruly son when a family moves in next door, a family with a little girl who seems to know too much. I wasn’t entirely clear about the resolution of this one, but it’s a well-executed feature directing debut, and maybe suggests how wide Jonathan Glazer’s influence has been.