Madeline's Madeline (2018)
Critic Consensus: Madeline's Madeline proves experimental cinema is alive and well -- and serves as a powerful calling card for Helena Howard in her big-screen debut.
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Critic Reviews for Madeline's Madeline
One of the best films of the year, if also one of the hardest to initially get your head around.
Add another name to the list of talented and charismatic young actresses of color making auspicious debuts of late: Helena Howard, star of director and co-writer Josephine Decker's simultaneously attractive and repellent mindjob.
Watching a once-in-a-generation talent like Howard work at this early point feels like entering a tall building on the ground floor. There's little doubt she will escalate from here.
Decker's visually supple exploration may chase its tail in the second half, but at its best "Madeline's Madeline" shifts perspectives and power dynamics seamlessly.
Letting the audience determine the meaning of her aesthetic choices, Decker shows little interest in creating meaning herself.
Note to filmmakers everywhere: If you want to depict emotional dissonance through relentlessly swirly cinematography, do it sparingly. If you do it for 90 minutes, as Decker does, the audience isn't stirred. It's queasy.
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