Movie Diary 12/12/2022

Women Talking (Sarah Polley, 2022). The female members of a weird religious community gather in a barn to discuss whether they should leave the place or stay and forgive their abusers. The cast is stocked and the words are articulate, even if the rhythm lacks something propulsive in the final section. It’s hard to go wrong when actors such as Rooney Mara and Jessie Buckley are dialed in, although Polley is indulgent to some of the others.

Glass Onion (Rian Johnson, 2022). I have liked some of Johnson’s films. I like the idea of an Agatha Christie-style romp, especially if there are curveballs. I feel like I should like this. And yet it is an absolute dead fish to me. Some of the formal ideas are appealing – an hour into this one, you realize that what you’ve been watching is not what it is at all. Which means you spend a lot of time watching assholes being assholes, without much relief. Of course, the movie deserves credit for stating that superrich tech wizards are actually morons – an obvious point, but a gratifying one. As with Knives Out, the casting feels off; either the actors are too on-the-nose for their roles, or underchallenged, or Daniel Craig. And there is no excuse for the movie looking this bad: flat, tinny, bleached. Maybe the next one gets it right?