unterstützt von

English/with English subtitles
All languages
My location via GPS
Postcode

Waves

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults’s latest film adds to a small subsection of movies that use a highly stylistized brand of filmmaking to engage with the extreme but familiar emotions of modern life. It also relies heavily on music, sound design, ...

More

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults’s latest film adds to a small subsection of movies that use a highly stylistized brand of filmmaking to engage with the extreme but familiar emotions of modern life. Think Darren Aronofsky’s REQUIEM FOR A DREAM or Paul Thomas Anderson’s MAGNOLIA. While WAVES may be far more earnest than those movies, it is similarly ambitious and unflinching in its portrait of familial dysfunction and the damages it can cause. It also relies heavily on music, sound design, and a kinetic sense of editing and cinematography to energize a story that could easily have become rather staid in someone else’s hands.

That story is centered around the Williams family, who have their own business and their own big house in sunny Florida. The first half is more or less devoted to Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), the family’s teenage son, who’s excelling on the high school wrestling team and in his romance with Alexis, his “goddess” of a girlfriend. But both the wrestling and relationship soon fall apart, sending Tyler on a downward spiral that culminates in a brief but tragic act of violence. The second half switches to Tyler’s sister Emily (Taylor Russell) and deals with the ramifications of the incident -- how we pick up the pieces and find the forgiveness needed to move on.

Shultz and his regular cinematographer Drew Daniels find a lot of opportunities for camera wizardry, but what’s really impressive is that most of these flourishes are rooted in visual storytelling and not simply showing off. The filmmakers are also aided significantly by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ ominous score, which at times plays like the sort of thing you’d hear in a horror film -- a genre that Shultz continues to flirt with here.

But despite the abundance of style, the performances that give the movie its heart are never overshadowed. Sterling K. Brown, as the patriarch who loses control of his family, does amazing work in capturing the transition from a domineering figure to an utterly vulnerable one. And Taylor Russell impressively rises to the challenge of carrying the film’s second half and injecting it with a much needed sense of hope.

Following KRISHA and IT COMES AT NIGHT, Shults has established himself as a distinctive voice in American indie cinema. At the same time, his willingness to go melodramatic, be blunt in his messaging, and defy genre conventions has also made him a divisive auteur. Make no mistake, WAVES is a challenging movie to sit through. It has bucket-loads of tears and such constant, raw emotionality that certain scenes can feel like an invasion of privacy. But few family portraits go as deep or have as big a heart as this one does.

Sean Erickson

Credits

USA 2019, 135 min
Genre: Drama, Romance Films
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Author: Trey Edward Shults
DOP: Drew Daniels
Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Sterling K. Brown, Taylor Russell, Elisa Lau
FSK: 12
Release: 16.07.2020

Website

ALLE ANGABEN OHNE GEWÄHR.
Die Inhalte dieser Webseite dürfen nicht gehandelt oder weitergegeben werden. Jede Vervielfältigung, Veröffentlichung oder andere Nutzung dieser Inhalte ist verboten, soweit CINEMATIC BERLIN nicht ausdrücklich schriftlich ihr Einverständnis erklärt hat.