Last night I dreamt about discovering a mindblowingly great film about a Syrian or Iranian immigrant family trying to survive in Manhattan or Brooklyn or somewhere back east. It was basic and elemental but world-class. It lasted two and a half hours, but it got better and better as it went on. It was like an Asghar Farhadi film, a simple tale that becomes more and more complex as more and more details are revealed. I was imagining it in amazingly specific terms during the dream but they fell away the instant I woke up.
It was one of those films that you think you’ve got figured out, and then it takes a turn in the road that you didn’t expect, and then it takes another and then sinks in deeper and deeper, and after a while you’re going “whoa, whoa…wait a minute.”
I knew along with the 30 or 40 other critics who had seen it for the first time (the film strangely hadn’t premiered at Telluride or Toronto and was just emerging at the end of award season, sometime in November or December) that this wasn’t just a major discovery but an all-time masterpiece, and I was feeling that heartbeat, those feelings of profound oh-my-God excitement that I didn’t feel during ’17. The rushes I was feeling after seeing Dunkirk, Lady Bird and especially Call Me By Your Name were strong, but not as intense as what I was feeling last night.
I was so excited about this film that I was telling myself within the dream that I needed to wake up and write down the details before forgetting them — it was that good.