Misanthrope (2023)

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Misanthrope (2023). Misanthrope: Directed by Damián Szifron. With Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Jovan Adepo, Ralph Ineson. Baltimore. New Year's Eve. A talented but troubled police officer (Shailene Woodley) is recruited by the FBI's chief investigator (Ben Mendelsohn) to help profile and track down a disturbed individual terrorizing the city.

“Greetings again from the darkness. Argentinian writer-director Damian Szifron was behind the terrific WILD TALES (2014), which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and this time out, he and co-writer Jonathan Wakeham venture into psychological crime procedural territory. A captivating opening sequence, expert photography, and top notch acting from the two leads keeps us watching, although there seems to have been some confusion on the best path for the script. The end result is watchable, but not memorable.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIt is New Yearu0026#39;s Eve in Baltimore and celebrations, revelry, and parties are occurring all over the city. As beat cop Eleanor Falco (Shailene Woodley, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, 2014) negotiates a mundane rift between an irritated diner owner and a slow-eating customer, shots begin to ring out. This frantic sequence captures the panic as we witness a few of the 29 gun shots that find a target. Officer Falco races a couple of blocks to the high-rise building where an explosion occurs. It turns out the sniper destroyed his own lair in order to avoid leaving evidence.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eEnter renowned FBI Agent Lammark (Ben Mendelsohn, ANIMAL KINGDOM, 2010) who takes charge of the investigation. This point is mentioned because the chain-of-command plays a vital role in the proceedings … Lammark wants to run the investigation, but bureaucrats and politicians interfere. Lammark hones in on Falco and her instincts. Of course, she has a checkered past that includes having her FBI application denied. Here she acts as a liaison and provides insight into the killer. Get it? One damaged person can relate to another.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSome social commentary gets periodically interjected – gun control, power plays by law enforcement, misplaced priorities by politicians – but the fun part is watching Mendelsohn and Woodley flash their respective talent. Sheu0026#39;s kind of a flawed Clarice Starling and heu0026#39;s a guy that is committed to finding the bad guy. Filmed in Montreal, cinematographer Javier Julia maintains a cool atmosphere throughout, and Carter Burwellu0026#39;s music delivers some excellent piano parts. This ends up being one of those movies thatu0026#39;s enough fun to watch if you donu0026#39;t think too hard while itu0026#39;s playing, and it also reminds us that Ben Mendelsohn and Shailene Woodley are fine actors who deliver in every role.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOpens in theaters on April 21, 2023.”


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