NYFF Opening Night Pick
Reviewed for Shockya.com by Abe Friedtanzer
Director: Noah Baumbach
Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
With: Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle, Raffey Cassidy, Sam Nivola, May Nivola, Jodie Turner-Smith, André L. Benjamin, Lars Eidinger
Presented at: Walter Reade Theater, NY, 09/30/22
Opening: September 30e2022 (New York Film Festival)
Everyone moves through life in their own way, reacting somewhat differently to events that occur and to the people they meet. There are those who believe themselves to be intellectually superior to the masses, an attitude that probably indicates more pretentiousness than real intelligence. The arrival of a major and unprecedented development will likely be met with skepticism by those who think they know best, even if in reality they are just as clueless as the rest, separated only by their determination to listen. of something no one else could possibly grasp.
In the 1980s, Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) is a college professor specializing in Hitler studies, a field which Jack’s colleague, Murray Siskind (Don Cheadle), seeks to replicate his own obsession, Elvis Presley. Jack and his fourth wife, Babette (Greta Gerwig), have four children from their many relationships under their roof, including Denise (Raffey Cassidy), who cares deeply for her mother’s well-being, and Heinrich (Sam Nivola), who imitates the life of his father. peculiarities with its extensive survival preparation. When a chemical spill occurs and forces the family to evacuate, they face their new reality with a combination of controlled panic and outright denial.
Based on the 1985 book of the same name by Don DeLillo, White noise is also divided into three parts. The first one, Waves and radiation, features Jack and the way he and his family live. The second, The Airborne Toxic Event, discovers that the family is slowly realizing what is going on around them and begins to take stock of their new situation. The third, Dylarama, returns to Jack and Babette, focusing on Babette’s crippling fear of death and Jack’s search for information about the origins of the drug she took to deal with it. The first two segments are entertaining and at times engrossing, while the third takes a significant detour and goes off track, losing much of what makes the first two parts appealing in its indulgence for utter absurdity that remains more tempered earlier. in the movie.
White noise reunites writer-director Noah Baumbach with two of his most trusted leads. Although Baumbach is adapting another person’s work for the first time rather than working from an original script, the voice of the protagonist by Jeff Daniels of The squid and the whale can so clearly be heard in Driver’s turn, a far more comedic take than he delivered in his previous collaboration with Baumbach, Marriage story. Driver is the perfect fit to play the role of self-expanding Jack, and it’s especially wonderful to see Baumbach’s real-life partner Gerwig return to acting after a recent stint directing films like lady bird and Little woman. Both Cassidy and Nivola are very talented, as is Nicola’s younger sister, May, who plays the pretentious third child of the Gladney household.
As remarkable as the cast’s performances are the production values, with considerable effort exhausted to recreate the era in which this film is set. The design of a supermarket is particularly stunning, filled with thousands of colorful products and central to the film’s story and themes. Many scenes take place in the carefully constructed aisles, with great significance attributed to the design of a place that could be remarkable and rewarding, but also maddening and claustrophobic. That’s a good way to describe the film, which at times achieves something extraordinary in its skewer of unfounded elitism and at others misses the mark, opting for something glorious and earth-shattering and never hitting it. not quite. All in all, it remains an interesting and interesting experience, which has a lot to say about the human condition.
Interim – B+
Technical – B+
Overall – B