On 6.25 I said the following about Ari Aster‘s Midsommar (A24, now playing): “No matter how you feel about elevated horror, chilling Swedish pagan rituals, shitty boyfriends or Florence Pugh, this is a 100% essential summer freakout flick.”
In other words, it’s a film you have to see no matter what your particular interest levels may be. Because it’s currently understood by everyone to be culturally unmissable right now.
So a fair number of people went to see it yesterday, and…?
Excerpt #2: “Yes, Midsommar is a breakup film — David Edelstein called it ‘a woman’s fantasy of revenge against a man who didn’t meet her emotional needs’ as well as ‘a male director’s masochistic fantasy of emasculation at the hands of a matriarchal cult.’ That’s about as concise and on-target as a capsule description could be.”
From Owen Gleiberman’s 7.4 Variety column, posted at 2 pm:
“What we mean when we say ‘the ’60s’ may be ancient history, but the hidden legacy of the ’60s is that we’re increasingly a nation of sects, tribes, people obsessively seeking out those of like-minded desire. There’s a case to be made that we’re now evolving, in our thinking, into a nation of cults, which is why, when it comes to politics, rationality seems, more and more, to have vacated the building — not only on the right (though primarily there), but on the left as well. Debate, more and more, seems over. It has been replaced by the fundamentalism of belief.
“The horror of Midsommar is that innocent people die, in gruesome ways. But the real horror of Midsommar is that Florence Pugh’s Dani, drawn to the center of her own shattered identity, replaces it by becoming the self-actualized queen of her surroundings. Dani, in this movie, is really all of us. She loses herself, only to find her new self. She sheds her skepticism and joins the group. She fixes her broken relationship with her lover by reducing him to a piece of timber. She heals her trauma by giving her benediction to flowers of evil. And she does it, in the end, with a smile.”