The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (7)
An overheated but haunting, strangely involving tale inspired by the doomed romance between real-life aristocratic French siblings circa 1600.
The excruciating experience of "Marguerite & Julien" need only be endured by viewers with an obsessive interest in the least constructive aesthetic currents in contemporary French cinema.
The wan narrative at hand fails on several levels, including an annoying amount of intentional anachronistic details that detract rather enhance.
Marguerite & Julien's romance is a non-item, but Donzelli sprinkles it with faux naiveté, which has the aftertaste of an artificial sweetener. Who would ever want to see this movie?
The widescreen intimacy of small moments - the flush of a rain-soaked cheek - humanizes Donzelli's grand folly and the couple who challenge the parameters of morality.
It's just downright odd and doesn't work.
If it's too misbegotten to fall head over heels with, it's also too sensitively wrought to dismiss outright.
For a premise as provocative as an incestuous French fairy tale, this sort of toothlessness is tantamount to a death knell.
It finds its filmmaker completely lost between impulses to pay homage, play it safe, or offer something--anything--new.
Donzelli doesn't seem to have any idea what to do with this incestuous Romeo & Juliet story and creates the worst kind of melodramatic soap opera, apparently thinking that it is super cool to make use of gratuitous anachronisms, pretentious tableaux vivants and corny "meaningful" glances.
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