Indie Gems: You Were Never Really Here

It's not a dream

Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a veteran of the Gulf War who makes his living now as a hitman. He's traumatized not only from the war but from past experiences. He takes care of his elderly mother and wanders from job to job in an almost dream like haze. When he's tasked with finding the young daughter (Ekaterina Samsonov) of a senator that hasn't returned home, things escalate. 

I was a huge fan of director Lynne Ramsay's last film, We Need To Talk About Kevin and I've been looking forward to this ever since it was a huge hit at Cannes. Since it never came near me in theaters, I had to wait for the DVD, but it was certainly worth that long wait.

The film is very dreamlike. Despite being centered around violence Ramsay doesn't show a lot of it. Most of the time the scene cuts to the aftermath of Joe's jobs and it works. It makes this more than just another hired gun film.

Phoenix is phenomenal. I'm hoping Oscar voters don't forget this because he'd surely get a nomination had this had a fall release date. He's so good that unfortunately the rest of the cast doesn't make nearly as good of an impression. He outshone them all.

My biggest complaint is that this film went by so quickly. At 1 hour 29 minutes it completely flew, and I wanted to spend a little more time with Joe. 

Grade: B

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "Joe, wake up. It's a beautiful day." - Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov)

14 comments:

  1. Ooh now this sounds worth watching! It's always a good sign when your only real complaint is that it wasn't long enough.

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    1. Exactly! I was surprised when I saw how long it was because the type of movie itself just suggests longer for some reason.

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  2. I really want to see this film as I'm a big fan of Lynne Ramsay as it came and went at the art house theaters here as I couldn't go there to see it.

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    1. My art house didn't get it at all. The wait was worth it though.

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  3. Whoa. I was interested in this before but you're telling me Oscar worthy Phoenix and a sub 90 minute runtime?

    I'm so in for this.

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    1. I know you, like me, appreciate that run time and now and again lol.

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  4. This is 89 mins long?! The hell, I thought it was way longer than 2h. I need to see it but I doubt Phoenix tops Hawke in FR

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    1. It's short as hell lol. It goes by so quickly. I need to see First Reformed after your hype lol. It hits DVD on Netflix later in the month.

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  5. Nice review! I freaking loved this fever-dream revenge thriller. Then again it's even than that. Can we please give Ramsay the keys to more movies?

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  6. It's a shame when a movie shines only through one performance. If all the other ones would have been exceptional, then I'm sure you would have given it an A+. I will try to watch this before the end of the year list making, if I remember to!

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    1. I've been noticing this a lot lately, I'm sure it's just bad luck but a lot of the films I've seen lately have really been held together by one performance and everyone else is kind of meh.

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  7. I'm so glad you watched this movie. I know we still have some important movie months left this year, but it'll hard for any film to top this one for me. It did fly by though. I cannot argue against the notion of wanting to see more of Joe.

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