Five stars for I think at the end of things

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Once they reach the isolated farm, Jake insists on showing Lucy around the outbuildings before entering the house, a tour that includes cold-dead lambs in a barn and the place where a pig was eaten. living by maggots. . Next is dinner, a gooey spread that looks both generous and gross at the same time, but no one ever touches the food. This is only the beginning of the strangeness. Jake’s parents, played very well by Colette and Thewlis, are like alien robots that have been programmed to behave like humans, but continue to glitch. People get older and older as the night goes on, as if Lucy realizes that if she stayed with Jake, she would be stuck with her past and her distant future. And Lucy herself is subject to such transformations. Buckley (who is, incidentally, better at accents than any other player in the business) makes her believable and likable throughout, but her clothes, occupation, and even her name change without anyone recognizing what’s going on. . Is she a poet or a painter? Is she studying physics or gerontology? Is her name really Lucy? Or is it Lucia or Louisa or something?Whatever her name is, she is clearly uncomfortable with the situation, but she accepts it, just like you do in a dream where you are in a difficult situation but you cannot walk away. Or maybe the movie is a memory, and Kaufman shows how different people remember the same events differently. Or maybe the Metamorphoses are – like in Adaptation – a commentary on the script writing process and how character identities are revised as the writer drafts and redraws the script.

Or maybe … well, I think the end of it might cause “maybes” like that for years. Beyond Kaufman’s own work (and Meet the Parents), it’s most reminiscent of two of Stanley Kubrick’s most infinitely interpretable films, The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Shining definitely hides behind the snowy scenes and the tendency to cut the couple at the school janitor, just as Kubrick cut the Torrances at the chef at the Overlook Hotel; 2001’s influence becomes evident in subsequent psychedelic scenes which I won’t spoil in describing. I’m not saying that Kaufman’s movie will be consecrated as a classic like these Kubrick movies are. It’s too idiosyncratic and demanding for that: many viewers will think about ending it halfway through. But, like those films, it’s rich in detail and ideas, and it comes from a unique, uncompromising talent who likes to leave some details behind for the viewer.

Yet the film is not just a horror drama and an intellectual puzzle. Sometimes it’s hilarious: sudden references to Billy Crystal and Robert Zemeckis made me laugh out loud. And sometimes, it’s upsetting. I think the end of things constantly draws attention to its own artifice and things that can only happen in movies. But he seems utterly genuine in his worry about aging, disease, pain, regret, and the connections we make with art and others. Whatever universe it is in, it has a lot to say about ours.

★★★★★

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