Wyatt Allison headshot - Fall 2022

As we approach awards season, the fall months have been plentiful with exciting new releases.

“Till”:

“Till” is a historical drama about the brutal lynching of 14-year-old boy Emmett Till. The story mainly focuses on his mother, Mamie Till, who is played by Danielle Deadwyler. The film focuses on the trial of Emmett Till’s murder as well as what Mamie Till was fighting for.

It’s important that stories like these are told. A lot of viewers were concerned about how much of this was just an Oscar-bait showcase for Danielle Deadwyler, myself included, but the film certainly managed to completely disregard that prediction. The film is authentic to the story and was done with the approval of family members who are still alive.

“Till” certainly draws your emotions as the first half is a heavy, raw telling of what happened. It’s difficult to not be heartbroken over the tragic events, and Danielle Deadwyler is demanding your attention every time she’s on screen. She does a phenomenal job at portraying grief and the reaction of Emmett’s death. An Oscar nomination for Deadwyler seems to be solidified.

As impactful as the story and Danielle Deadwyler’s performance is, the film can’t help but fall into the generic historical drama category for me. The score from Abel Korzeniowski is a perfect fit for the film’s setting and was a pleasant listen. I enjoyed the supporting performances from Jalyn Hall who played Emmett Till. He portrayed Emmitt in a truly authentic way. To add, the color grade and set design were brilliant. It didn’t feel like a typical studio made film.

Overall, “Till” is an impactful and moving story with a strong lead performance from Danielle Deadwyler. You can feel the pain of Emmett Till’s family as this story is told. The film’s length can be felt towards the end, but I never had an itching feeling for it to end. It’s encouraging to see studios take on more difficult stories like this.

“Till” was released in theaters on Oct. 28.

71/100

“Triangle of Sadness”:

“Triangle of Sadness” is the latest film from highly acclaimed director Ruben Östlund. His previous film The Squarewon the “Palme d’Or,“ which is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Surprisingly, Östlund’s new film was also awarded the Palme d’Or this year.

“Triangle of Sadness”is a satirical film about an influencer couple joining a group of the rich elite on a high-end cruise. The film takes shots at the wealthy, capitalism and even the less fortunate. Without spoiling too much, this film is an eventful chaos with masterful direction and writing from Ruben Östlund. Östlund puts his characters into hilariously awkward situations that make it a fun watch. With its witty and unpredictable style, and possibly one of the grossest scenes of 2022, this was one of the best theater experiences of the year.

The plot of “Triangle of Sadness” starts steady then completely goes off the rails in ways you couldn’t have predicted. Östlund’s writing creates scenes that are uncomfortably long and make the audience feel like they are in the film itself. The detailing of his filmmaking is brilliant. He uses small things such as a fly buzzing, a windshield wiper and elevator doors trying to shut to raise the anxiety of a scene.

“Triangle of Sadness”was one of the best films I’ve seen in 2022, and Cannes Film Festival would agree as it was awarded the Palme d’Or. I highly recommend going to see this film while it is in theaters. If you have a dark sense of humor, you’ll surely have a great time with this one.

“Triangle of Sadness” wasreleased in theaters on Oct. 28.

87/100

“TÁR”:

“TÁR”is the first film in over 15 years from filmmaker Todd Field, and he certainly did not miss. The story follows fictional world-famous composer Lydia Tár and her fall from relevancy. This film is a cold, slow-burn character study with a take on ‘cancel-culture’. Todd Field leaves up a lot for interpretation and manipulates his audience in the process. “TÁR” leaves you with the question of how far should we go to separate the art from the artist?

Lydia Tár is played by Cate Blanchett who delivers one of the best performances from a lead actress in 2022 and very well could be on her way towards her third Oscar. I would say from all of the performances in her career, this is the most demanding and least hesitant of them all. She captures the manipulative and ignorant nature of her character masterfully, delivering Todd Field’s writing in the most intellectually sound and riveting way. Most scenes in this film are extended conversations that start to piece itself together as you reach the final act. There is so much to interpret from the dense dialogue that makes for a rewarding viewing experience.

Without giving too much away, Lydia Tár has a deep history of showing favoritism towards certain performers in her orchestra because of her attraction towards them. Everybody else in this orchestra turns a blind eye because of the consequences that could happen if someone were to speak up. It’s a subtle form of manipulation that is shown so well. There is a notable scene of Lydia Tár secretly updating her own Wikipedia page and is a brilliant use of showing the obsession of self image and the way we view ourselves in society. Cate Blanchett’s ability of commanding an audience to convince that she is a good person is seen strongly on screen. The complete control that Blanchett has on screen with her orchestra is so metaphoric and feels incredibly authentic to a person with this form of authority.

“TÁR”was one of my most anticipated films of 2022, and it delivered in the way I wanted it to. I recommend this to anybody who is willing to reflect on our current ‘cancel culture’ in society and is curious in the debate of how far we should go in separating the art from the artist. It’s a thought provoking story with masterful writing and direction that will linger in your mind as society continues to navigate these questions of how far does it go.

“TÁR”released in theaters on Oct. 28.

94/100

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