Three key passages from yesterday’s late-arriving review of The Green Knight:
(a) “I will never forget The Green Knight, and I will never, ever watch it again. It’s an exacting, carefully crafted, ‘first-rate”‘ creation by a director of serious merit, and I was moaning and writhing all through it. I can’t believe I watched the whole thing, but I toughed it out and that — in my eyes, at least — is worth serious man points.
(b) “The Green Knight is a sodden medieval dreamscape thing — a trippy, bizarre, hallucinatory quicksand movie that moves like a snail and will make you weep with frustration and perhaps even lead to pondering the idea of your own decapitation. What would I rather do, I was asking myself — watch the rest of The Green Knight or bend over and allow my head to be cut off? Both would be terrible things to endure, I reasoned, but at least decapitation would be quick and then I’d be at peace. Watching The Green Knight for 130 minutes, on the other hand…”
(c) “Film critics generally don’t acknowledge audience miserablism. For most of them visual style is 90% to 95% of the game. If a director shoots a film with a half-mad, child-like sense of indulgence with a persistent visual motif (i.e., everything in The Green Knight is either muted gray or dispiriting brown or intense green)…bathing the viewer in mood and mystery and moisture…filmmakers like Lowery adore mist, fog, rain, mud, sweat, rivers, streams)…that’s it and all is well.”