The film is slow, disjointed, and artsy. Not that any of these things are bad it just seems to be a style that Gus Van Sant is stuck in (reminds me of Tony Scott's new found love for the extreme edits. Gus has moved into the exact opposite...no cuts). The veteran director has been taking his films above and beyond the minds of a normal audience or mainstream thinker holding on his characters as they travel through a hall for no exaggeration...SEVEN MINUTES!! Now I'm a true advocate of a patient camera or slow edit. Just look at my reviews from the PAST. I'm just saying Gus offers us nothing but the shifty eyes of a young teenager silently looking out a window. We awkwardly stare for far far too long. I whispered over to Andy sitting next to me, "this script must have only been thirty pages long" for the fact that the total meat of the movie is long uncut seemingly pointless shots.
But my friends all is not lost. There are moments when the style works. There is a scene when Alex is in the shower after the murder. Amazing. The only problem is that because every moment was filmed with these LONG takes that when it really should matter our emotions were tired and over saturated from the technique.
My favorite scene of the movie involves Alex being questioned by a Police Detective. Truly a well crafted scene from a veteran filmmaker. He guides your emotions with the slow long move of a dolly. Great scene.
New comer Gabe Nevins did a great job playing Alex. I loved the quiet hunched shoulders and silent eyes. He's a very subtle actor whose technique worked well for both his character and film.
This has been a hard movie to review. Technically speaking there is nothing WRONG with the film and nothing has been poorly created. The story, acting, and camera are all intact and work perfectly in the mind of the director/poet. It's just the style that spurs flaw.
I give the film 2.5 stars because of the impact it has in hindsight and that I truly think Van Sant captured the world of the characters and story. Be sure to bring your smart glasses and chai tea to this one.