TLDR: Pearl (2022)
Ti West's back-to-back follow-up to X improves that film.
Plot: Trapped on her family’s isolated farm, Pearl must tend to her ailing father under the bitter and overbearing watch of her devout mother. Lusting for a glamorous life like she’s seen in the movies, Pearl’s ambitions, temptations, and repressions all collide, in the stunning, technicolor-inspired origin story of X’s iconic villain.
Direction: If Ti West keeps making movies in this universe, I'll keep watching them. I loved X earlier in the year and when I found out there was a secretly-filmed prequel that explained the backstory of what I thought to be that film's least interesting character, I shrugged my shoulders. Boy, was I wrong. I love the world he's building and would watch a million more stories in this timeline. Keep giving them to me, Ti. Please.
Screenplay: Ti and his apparent-muse Mia Goth collaborated to write a film that finds humor in the darkest emotions, eternal despair in the most mundane of situations, and color in life's black and white.
Performances: Mia Goth is making a name for herself in WTF movies giving WTF performances. That's because she's damn good at it. This character is clearly her baby and as demented as that may be, you have to appreciate that. She milked this script dry and she wrote the script.
Best moment: I can't say no to any respectable Wizard of Oz homage and there are a lot to pick from here.
Fun fact: West and Goth wrote the script in two weeks over Zoom. And they wrote this.
Imaginary accolade: Longest-lasting smile of the year.
Everything is too long. Is it too long? Movies that are 100 minutes are often 90-minute movies with an attitude problem, but I'll take it here.
See it in cinemas or wait for streaming: If you were in my screening, sitting next to four people who couldn't stop heckling and giggling can be solved by moving. See horror in the theater - run to see this one as soon as possible.
Rating: Three-and-a-half "I can't wait for the next movie!"s out of five.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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