Waves (2019) Movie Review

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Writer: Trey Edward Shults (Screenplay)

Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr, Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renee Elisa Goldsberry

Plot: Traces the journey of a suburban family – led by a well-intentioned but domineering father – as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss.

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Waves starts as we meet Tyler (Harrison Jr) who has been training in high school wrestling for his whole life, he has a girlfriend in Alexis (Demie) who completes him, with his overbearing father Ronald (Brown) pushing him to be his best.

When Tyler learns he has a suffered a potential career ending injury, his life starts to spiral out of control, with his girlfriend tell him she is pregnant and dumping how, Tyler continues to spiral out of control, pushing everyone away from him, causing an effect on his little sister Emily (Russell).

Thoughts on Waves

Characters – Tyler is one of the star athletes in the high school, he is going to head to college, got a beautiful girlfriend, with his life looking set for him, his life comes crashing down when he gets inured and his girlfriend gets pregnant, he simply can’t handle the changes, which see him make mistake after mistake. Emily is the younger sister of Tyler, she is left in the shadow of what happened with Tyler, filled with guilt and trying to find a way out of the place she has found herself feeling trapped, trying to live her own life. Luke is the classmate that comes into Emily’s life, he helps her come out of her pain, showing her the best part of life, while having his own pain in his life.

PerformancesKelvin Harrison Jr and Taylor Russell give us outstanding performances with each taking centre stage through different parts of the film, with the supporting cast shining though too.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of two siblings, one who spirals out of control, while the other is living in the shadow of the consequences of what happened. This is a story that will hit hard showing the cause and effect of what would happen in life if somebody spiralled too far out of control and someone else would need to break out of the shadow of that image. Splitting the movie into two parts, does help show just how they are changing through life and what happened.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us how the everyday life can be turned upside by what happens, not location is unique, but only important to show things can happen.

Scene of the Movie – Luke and Emily’s road trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The spinning camerawork.

Final Thoughts Waves is a brilliant story showing us just how life can spiral out of control suddenly, with power house performances from Kelvin Harrison Jr and Taylor Russell.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – A – The Assistant (2019) Movie Review

Director: Kitty Green

Writer: Kitty Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Jon Orsini, Noah Robins, Dagmara Dominczyk, Clara Wong

Plot: A searing look at a day in the life of an assistant to a powerful executive. As Jane follows her daily routine, she grows increasingly aware of the insidious abuse that threatens every aspect of her position.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Assistant starts as we meet Jane (Garner) who has been working as an assistant for a powerful movie executive, she is first in and last out of the office everyday, not having a life outside of this job, because this position would be a gateway into the future she wants.

When Janes starts noticing an increased number of women being put in hotels or items being left in the office, she starts to see the jokes from the office becoming more threatening, believing she is part of a bigger cover up.

Thoughts on The Assistant

Characters – Jane is the assistant, she starts work for a powerful movie executive, which sees her giving up nearly every waking hour of her day. We follow one day in her life, which sees her cleaning up after him, suffering with abuse down the phone, dealing with problems out of her control and seeing women being lined up for the executive, she hasn’t made any friends within the office and is very isolated from her own life. The whole film circles around just one day of the near 2-month experience working under this man. We do meet other assistants that have got to a stage of blanking out most of the stuff which happens, other executives that know the nature of the boss, but none give Jane the friendship she needs in a working environment.

PerformancesJulia Garner is brilliant in this leading role, we can see how she wants to make her character explode, but must keep everything inside if she wants the future she desires, it is a performance which will turn heads and show the struggles of an everyday job, which is filled with pressure.

StoryThe story here follows the day in the life of an assistant working under a powerful movie executive and the added pressure of knowing this role could help their future. This shows the pressure put on someone who clearly is just trying to make ends meet, while chasing a dream, the abuse they might suffer, without needing to be put in this position and the uncertainty of what might be happening behind the closed doors of the executives office. Where this story does shine is by not showing us what is happening, we are as in the dark as Jane is, which lets our own imagination show the worst of what could be happening.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly everything within the one office where Jane works, it does make everything feel very cold through the movie, helping highlight the isolation Jane is experiencing.

Scene of the Movie – The helpless HR meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a movie that puts the firm highlight on how certain Hollywood executives acted with their believed position of power, with someone watching in, aware, but helpless to do anything about it.