Triangle of Sadness

When you have the chance to watch La Palme D’Or in Cannes only multiple steps away from the famous theatre where it premiered, you drop everything and go.

When up and coming model Carl (Harris Dickinson) and influencer Yaya (Charlbi Dean) are invited to join a luxury cruise filled with millionaires and billionaires, they are thrust into a life they never knew was possible. What started as an Instagrammer’s dream come true quickly changes when a fatal storm leaves the passengers stranded on a deserted island.

This is certainly one of the most interesting films I have seen this year. The satire directed by Ruben Östlund perfectly encapsulates what the world is like in 2022. Everything was so dead on that I found myself nodding along throughout and cringing at those moments that I would rather we forget.

The way in which social hierarchies are depicted here was really well done. At the beginning of the film, Carl and Yaya are hoping to break into the world of glamour. This shifts when they board the yacht and realize that the level of opulence displayed by the fellow guests is unlike anything they’ve ever known. All bets are off after the storm as everyone, rich and middle class alike, have to fend for themselves and will do whatever they can to make that happen.

What makes the movie work so well is the colorful cast of characters. Our two leads are full of flaws and not very likeable, but Dickinson and Dean have great chemistry that make it work. Dean in particular was absolutely lovely; I kept forgetting that she passed away in August. From the Russian and his family (Zlatko Buric, Sunnnyi Melles and Carolina Gynning) to the Brits (Amanda Walker and Oliver Ford Davies) and the bachelor (Henrik Dorsin), there was never a dull moment when they were on screen. I only wish we’d had the chance to learn more about some of them. Then there was the crew led by Paula (Vicki Berlin), housekeeper Abigail (Dolly De Leon) and the alcoholic captain Thomas (Woody Harrelson) who rounded it all out perfectly.

Triangle of Sadness, or Sans Filtre, was one of the biggest surprises to come out of the year for me. Very telling of our time and with outrageous scenes that were sometimes a smidge too long, I would happily watch this movie again in the future. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, but I mean that in the best way possible.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

See How They Run

Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run, see how they run…

This is the story of a whodunit. Usually, when you’ve seen a whodunit, you think you’ve seen them all. The surprises are gone and you can pretty much guarantee you know how they’re going to end. At least, that’s what narrator and American movie director Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody) claims in the opening of See How They Run. But on the night of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap celebrating one hundred shows, he is murdered. With threats towards the rest of the cast and crew in London’s West End production, Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) and Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) are brought in to solve the case.

Unlike the types of movies that come out these days boasting plenty of CGI, over the top storylines and crazy stunts, See How They Run pulls in the reigns and gives us an intimate and charming murder mystery. Only taking place in a few particular locations, it gives off the feeling that the audience is watching a play within a play.

Each player is given their chance to shine, though some could have had a little more fleshing out. Not only are the theatre company ensemble consisting of Richard Attenboroug (Harris Dickinson), Sheila Sim (Pearl Chanda), Mrs. Boyle (Maggie McCarthy), Dennis Corrigan (Charlie Cooper), Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson), John Woolf (Reece Shearsmith) and Mervyn Cocker-Norris (David Oyelowo) perfectly casted, it is the two leads that really make the film shine.

While an interesting choice to have Rockwell as an English inspector, he took on the role with everything he had and delivered. Ronan, on the other hand, stole the entire show. Not only was her onscreen chemistry with Rockwell so entertaining to watch, she has proven herself to be such a dynamic actor over the years. This more comedic turn was a stroke of genius and it is a performance that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

The best part about See How They Run is in its simplicity. Some might find this boring, but I thought it was such a breath of fresh air and I truly enjoyed every moment.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Where The Crawdads Sing

Known by others as ‘Marsh Girl’, Kya Clark (Daisy Edgar-Jones) was abandoned by her family as a child and had to grow up quickly as a result. When she comes across two young men (Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson) over the span of her life, she opens herself up to a world she never knew possible. But as one of them turns up dead, all fingers point are pointing at Kya.

Where The Crawdads Sing is based on the 2018 best seller by Delia Owens. Now considered to be quite controversial due to the author’s involvement in a real life murder case, there has been a lot of negative talk about the movie. That being said, I still wanted to see it as I did enjoy the novel and Reese Witherspoon’s production company was behind its creation.

The first thing that struck me about this movie was the way in which it was filmed. The locations, for starters, were absolutely breathtaking. I loved the aerial shots of the marshes and those of the various wildlife. It’s almost as if the marsh was its own individual character; it wasn’t at the forefront of the film, but you never forgot about it.

A simple story about a girl who just wants to find her place in the world, Daisy Edgar-Jones’s performance as Kya was outstanding. The vulnerability and simplicity that she brought to the role took my breath away. Every time I see her in something new, I am constantly impressed by her acting chops and can’t wait to see what she does next. As for her gentlemen counterparts, I preferred John Smith’s character more than Dickinson’s, though I suppose that is the point. I also enjoyed David Strathairn as Tom Milton, Michael Hyatt as Mabel and Sterling Macer Jr. as Jumpin’ all of who the film would not be complete without.

With major To Kill A Mockingbird vibes, Where The Crawdads Sing was a book to movie adaption that I have to admit was well executed. The main plot points were included and the few changes added made sense. This is the type of story that will sit with you long after you experience it and I know I’ll be playing Carolina by Taylor Swift on replay as a result.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥