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TLDR: Kimi (2022)
Soderbergh can’t stop making movies.
Plot: During the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle, an agoraphobic tech worker discovers evidence of a violent crime while reviewing a data stream, and is met with resistance and bureaucracy when she tries reporting it to her company. To get involved, she realizes she must face her greatest fear by venturing out of her apartment and into the city streets, which are filled with protestors in the wake of the city council passing a law restricting the movements of the homeless population.
Direction: Remember when Soderbergh retired? Well, he’s back to making 1–2 movies a year now. It’s insane to me how crowded the media landscape is. Last summer, his film No Sudden Move was released on HBO Max with little fanfare — just like this. It’s a neo-noir, got great reviews, has an incredible cast…and I still haven’t seen it. It just got lost in the shuffle. He’s back just seven months later with Kimi and I made it a priority. Did I need to do that? Maybe not. But I will say this: If nothing else, Soderbergh always surprises. He always makes interesting decisions with the camera, with his casting, and his composition. He does that all here, even if it’s not my favorite of his movies.
Screenplay: This small cast, lockdown thriller seems peculiar for tentpole writer David Koepp, but when you realize that he also wrote one Secret Window for every Jurassic Park, it makes more sense. I like some of the world-building he creates, but I’m not over the moon about the rest of it. This is the third Rear Window movie and the fourth film with an agoraphobic main character I can think of in the last few years.
Performances: It’s clearly Zoë Kravitz’s movie. She gets the most to do and the most screen time by a landslide. She does an excellent job. The rest of the cast is a who’s who of, “Hey, I’ve seen them in other things and recognize their face!” Many of them do their parts from telephones or video conferencing screens. If they were filmed in their own isolation, more power to all involved. Very impressive.
Cinematography: All done by Soderbergh’s great-minds-think-alike Peter Andrews. I’m sure he’s over it, but I want him to make more iPhone movies. Yes, I’m an Unsane apologist.
Best moment: David Wain’s dentist.
Fun fact: Did you know that Soderbergh keeps a detailed media diary every year? I always look forward to its release. He’s such a peculiar guy…
Imaginary accolade: Winner of the “Hello, FBI Guy Listening to My Conversation!” Award at the 2022 Paranoid Film Festival. Other winners included Don’t Look Up for the “We Can’t Trust the Government!” Award.
Everything is too long. Is it too long?: Nope! 89 minutes.
Rating: One time, I unplugged my Alexa because her voice changed briefly and then went back to normal. Nope! I’ll give this movie three unplugged Alexas out of five.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.