Movie Diary 3/27/2023

Bodies Bodies Bodies (Halina Reijn, 2022). Do yourself a favor and skip the “Whither Gen Z?” thinkpieces prompted by this film, and instead appreciate its zingy dialogue, confident pacing, and surprisingly fine performances. Yes, there is a mordant eye cast toward the attitudes and lingo of 2022 America, but it’s all threaded with utter silliness and ingenious ways of shooting a dark house at night. A group of (mostly) privileged friends gather for games as a hurricane rages outside; blood is spilled as freely as booze. The tight ensemble has Amandla Sendberg, Maria Bakalova (she was Borat’s daughter), and Rachel Sennott (who has a knack for appearing in the best comedies of recent years, namely Shiva Baby and Tahara) in especially good form, but everybody’s on point, even Pete Davidson; director Reijn, an actress herself, clearly has a talent for getting people on the same vibe. I’m glad I didn’t skip this one.

A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (Woody Allen, 1982). It is minor and sometimes annoying, but I will say that this movie looks better now than it did at the time, especially without the expectations of the early 80s. At the very least, Gordon Willis’s cinematography is gorgeous, and the unexpected casting of Julie Hagerty and Jose Ferrer adds something. There are even moments where the director seems to relax into something like sensual appreciation of the situation – a shot of Mary Steenburgen folding back into the grass, for instance – which is not generally Allen’s forte.


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