2 hours ago
My Favorite Films of 2018
2. “You Were Never Really Here”
Dir. Lynne Ramsay
1h 35m, rated R
Coming in at an hour and a half, this film knocked me on my ass. You can see the similarities between this, Taxi Driver, Drive, and a bit of Good Time to a certain extent. At the end of the day though, it’s still a film all it’s own.
This is hands down the best directed film of the year. Despite all the acclaim it received, it was completely ignored by the Oscars and a few other big awards this past year. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me. But I digress.
Thanks to Joaquin Phoenix’s intense performance, along with the masterful use of editing and music, this truly succeeds in being a mindfuck of a psychological thriller. Every image stuck with me.
The dialogue hits you like a rock. The way the film handles violence as well, some of the best depictions I’ve seen. It’s never glamorized, in some scene it cuts away or we only see the aftermath of what the character Joe has left behind.
This can be looked at two ways. On one hand, it’s a new way of showing trauma and the damage it does to people. It perfectly showcases how pain always stays with you, but how you react to it makes you who you are. Simultaneously it’s the story of a man, once in the military and FBI, is now living as a ghost in his own life. Something I believe a lot of veterans feel like when they come home from war.
While this film has an acquired taste, before seeing this though, Lynne Ramsay over the years has become one of my favorite directors. So, watching this not only awed me, but also inspired me about the stories I want to tell as a filmmaker in the future.
We’re living in a time of great cinema. It’s films like this that I’m glad remind me of that.
“Joe, wake up. It's a beautiful day.”
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