fbpx

Adam Nayman

All articles by this author

Long Day’s Journey into Slight

Long Day’s Journey into Slight

In his attempt to swap out comedy for cautionary tales, Adam McKay has become one

Gravity is at the center of Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, an apocalyptic comedy in which Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play twin Chicken Littles gesturing broadly toward a falling sky. But more than anything it’s gravitas that McKay seems to be after. Don’t Look Up was recently voted the winner of this year’s Writers Guild Award for Original Screenplay, and, this Sunday, it may win a few Oscars as well. The film, which was subsidized by Netflix, is a messy and inane statement of purpose by a director who is drowning in purpose—and statements. At this point, another statuette could serve as a life preserver.

Jesus, Etc.

Jesus, Etc.

On Benedetta

Within the first two minutes of Benedetta’s prologue—in which its namesake’s younger incarnation compels a bird to shit in the eye of a potential assailant—it’s clear that Verhoeven is in his comfort zone; if the movie doesn’t necessarily push beyond those confines, it confirms them as a uniquely spacious and fertile patch of cinematic terrain, where provocation and pleasure get intertwined on a molecular level and nearly every line cuts two ways, as a statement of principles and a sick joke.