Slim (and Queen & Slim) pickings this week, so I’ll take the opportunity to rhapsodize for Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters. Its relatively straightforward genre construction means it’s an easy movie to approach on the knee-jerk level of “this isn’t Todd Haynes enough”, but more than the briefest glance at it reveals that that’s total horseshit. For one, it’s shot almost identically to [safe], the same chilly, distant tableaux shining a harsh light on what should be images of happy families, just with the milieu changed from pastel-laden mansions to middle-class households and food chains (never has a Benihana been shot with such menace). And it’s also in conversation with [safe]‘s depiction of American life as literally killing those who try to follow it, showing the ailment’s root but being more interested in how it gets sold back to the public in magazines and infomercials. But leaving that aside, even if it was just a standard legal drama made by a nobody, it would still be one of the most terrifying films of last year, where moral do-goodery stands tiny next to corporate resources, the slow trudge of time, and even just the knowledge that you came to it too late to do anything. But other than all that, it really is a shame he’s wasting his time on this and not Carol 2: More Gloves.
Dark Waters (Universal)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Universal)
Kansas City (Arrow Academy)
Queen & Slim (Universal)