REVIEW: Never Really Here leaves brutal, lasting impression

There’s no film this year more deserving of your attention than this Joaquin Phoenix comeback.

The eccentric, up-and-down actor won the Best Actor prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and will be a force come the Oscars.

His understated, cold performance as a deeply troubled veteran who rescues kidnapped girls is reminiscent of De Niro in Taxi Driver, a feat in itself.

He delivers his most courageous, off-kilter turn, and best performance since his early supporting performance in Gladiator.

In this film that flashes with visual brilliance and artistic direction from Lynne Ramsay, Phoenix picks up a plot with scant details and brings every little piece to vivid life.

The art is in Ramsay’s ability to tell the viewer a lot while giving only what’s necessary is commendable.

As the conspiracy grows and the tension builds, so does the violence. This is a beautiful film, rife with memorable sequences, but it’s not for everyone.

It will be one of the greatest works of 2018, even if you never want a repeat viewing.

4.5/5 Stars

 

 

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