Flying out of La La Land on the eve of Oscars weekend, I tuned into Ruben Ostlund’s wealth satire for a 2nd time. Here’s what I newly noticed, starting with writing down to craft, and finally two queries:
Each char is intro’d as lead of group: incl. yep Queen Abigail as cleaner who will “come back later”
The violence vs. the animal primes audience to imagine the ending. Contrary to what L.A. haters like “We need to talk about this movie” pod, this makes it not a cliffhanger, but rather force audience to play out violence in their own head, with Carl almost getting blood spattered
Captain Woody actively tricks Paula into choosing Thurs rather than being a passive drunk
Chars state dir. social message clearly: e.g. to Abigail “you’ve setup a matriarchy”, “it’s pretty good for you here”
On island, Carl picks up perfume he’d modeled in trash
Dimitri puts dead wife’s jewels into jarringly comfortable moccasins
Sound Design: canned laughter from other tables timed to land after tragic jokes like “I sell shit”, windscreen wipers feel grating.
Set design: fills time gaps, eg swan towels on floor for start of voyage
Why does only Yaya get bitten on the face? (apart from Ostlund wanting to show fading beauty)
How long was Carl hiding in dark bathroom as the Pool Guy?
I stuck with 4.5*, cos I kinda agree with Kermode, these wealthy are almost too easy a target, esp. the bait way he draws eg the British arms dealers.
Really hope it bags one of Best Director or Original Screenplay on Sunday, but I fear too few in L.A. have seen it, and those who have may find it threatening.