Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (26)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (7)
A flawed film of unvarnished integrity.
The result borders on incoherence, providing few startling insights for aficionados and minimal illumination for the uninitiated.
Presumably, to understand Pasolini is to excavate him from the twisted miasma Ferrara has created in his image.
"Narrative art, as you all know, is dead," we hear Pasolini proclaim at one stage, and Ferrara has certainly taken that adage to heart, leaving his film to grow on the viewer incrementally.
Pasolini may not be the film we were promised, but it turns out to be something better: a thought-provoking - if not quite masterful - cinematic portrait of an artist whose visionary oeuvre remains poorly understood.
Abel Ferrara's reverent portrait of Pier Paolo Pasolini's last day alive serves as both a fan's impassioned eulogy and a speculative glimpse at what might have transpired.
It's an absorbing portrait, particularly compelling when relying on Pasolini's own words, which we hear verbatim through original letters and interviews.
It is difficult for anyone unfamiliar with Pasolini to keep track and to appreciate all of the details in what is undoubtedly a lovingly researched but ultimately hard-to-grasp homage.
Despite notable complications rising from casting, concept, and structure, the film works remarkably well.
[Dafoe] looks perfect in his thick-rimmed glasses and manages to projects a fearsome intelligence that avoids slipping into pretension or parody.
The heady cocktail of politics, religion, blowjobs and murder is catnip for Ferrara, although anyone not versed in the controversies of Salò may leave the film none the wiser.
Even cineastes with a good working knowledge of Pier Paolo Pasolini's life and works are going to struggle to navigate this capriciously intricate account of his final days in November 1975.
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