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The Lighthouse (2019) – Official Thread

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    Rachel
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    #1203003349

    A24 just dropped The Lighthouse trailer earlier today and I cannot wait. It’s directed by Robert Eggers and stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. It has already received rave reviews and a standing ovation from Cannes and is an Oscar contender. Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyag7lR8CPA

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    methaddiction
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    #1203003686

    This looks really great.

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    Dan Jo
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    #1203003886

    The Cinematography gives me of last year’s Cold War vibe.

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    #1203003910
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    Dan Jo
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    #1203003994

    It looks good, but I’m not sure it will hit any major category at Oscars.

    Their best shot is Best Cinematography. If the actors branch really like the duo’s performances surely they will give them number one each.

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    Eddy Q
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    #1203004214

    If it gets multiple noms and Dafoe is campaigned supporting, he could well end up being the frontrunner, though I’m wary that he’s looked like a conceivable winner on paper the last two years running and it never panned out.

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    Dan Jo
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    #1203004918

    If it gets multiple noms and Dafoe is campaigned supporting, he could well end up being the frontrunner, though I’m wary that he’s looked like a conceivable winner on paper the last two years running and it never panned out.

    Dafoe is so hot in actors branch. Two consecutive nominations. It could be three if ever he’ll get nominated next year. The role requires him to have british accent. That is something.

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    Dorsey
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    #1203005524

    Not just two consecutive nominations, two that were the only nominations for his films. They are DESPERATE to award him, all he needs is a movie with actual traction. I hope it’s The Lighthouse.

    FYC: Riz Ahmed + Paul Raci (Sound of Metal)
    Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
    Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)

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    LaChienne
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    #1203158282

    Excellent film and in my top 3 of the year so far. That the Gotham awards ignored this screenplay is deeply disappointing.

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    John Berchmans
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    #1203158297

    Now that this thread has resurfaced I’ll copy/paste my review from the main thread into here.

    Alright, so now that I’ve seen The Lighthouse and given myself a day to let my thoughts on it simmer, I’m finally ready to make a review on it. I really like this film, a whole lot more than I expected to. I didn’t love it as much as a lot of people here do, and I’ll talk about why later: but first, here are the things I liked. (And I should mention that this review does have some spoilers)

    First of all, the performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are absolutely phenomenal. Probably two of my top 3 favorite performances of the year, along with Joaquin’s Joker. So much has already been said about these performances, so I won’t say much, but there is one thing I did want to say: the cries of category fraud toward Dafoe going supporting are appallingly ridiculous. Not only does Pattinson have objectively far more screen time, but he’s also the clear protagonist of the film, with Dafoe playing the antagonist: the obstacle standing in the way of what our protagonist wants who endlessly torments him.

    The cinematography is also fantastic, and would easily win an oscar in a year that did not have 1917: beautiful, haunting, and often perfectly emulates the style of old 1930’s and 40’s films, right down to the long takes and still frames. I really liked the sound design and the score of the film as well. They consistently add to the tension of the film, blending in when they should and going bombastic when the narrative demands it (though they do tend to disappear more in the second half).

    Lastly, I liked the story and direction of the film a whole lot as well. Those aspects weren’t perfect, but Robert Eggers did do a great job of emulating period accurate dialogue, enriching a simple story with clever metaphors and allusions, and keeping certain sequences ambiguous (though not as many as it thinks it does) Plus the typical A24 ending that I expected, where the film subverts your expectations at the sacrifice of satisfying payoff, only sort of happens in this film.

    Now, here are my flaws with the movie. I have 3 big ones, and a few minor ones.

    The first big one is the pacing of the story, and how it’s structured. The first half of the movie is excellently paced, with new plot developments constantly driving the plot forward. The second half, however, achieves the effect it was going for of making you think you’re going crazy along with Ephraim Winslow, and then just kind of keeps going. So it really starts to drag. There’s probably about 20 minutes of footage that could have been cut from this second half to make it leaner and cleaner.

    The second big problem I have with this film is that, in the first half of the film, they do a really good job of emulating the look and feel of an old 1930’s and 40’s suspense film: right down to the long and still camera angles, the black and white 1:19:1 aspect ratio, and the period accurate dialogue (which is only about 40 years removed from the 30’s). But in the second half of the film, they give up on this aesthetic, filling the film with rapid-fire edited montages, CGI tentacles, and explicit content (pretty sure 30’s films weren’t allowed to show masturbation scenes and heads getting split open).

    My final big complaint is, as I mentioned before, the A24 ending. The payoff that this film builds to is Ephraim completing his journey into madness, killing Thomas Wake, and reaching the top of the lighthouse. Yet the ending almost goes into a really unsatisfying hard-left turn, with Wake going mad instead (after getting…punched in the face?) and turning into a… dog (?!), that Winslow walks for a while into a hole and then tries to bury, but gives up (??!!), and then tries to go to the top of the lighthouse, but inexplicably goes back down (???!!!) and gets attacked by Wake, who’s just magically not insane anymore (!!!!????) and then the ending gets back on track.

    It’s funny, because the biggest complaint I’ve seen people here level at Joker is exactly how I feels about this film. It has phenomenal performances and is technically pitch perfect, but those great aspects of the film cover up a flawed story with some big problems. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this movie a lot, even as someone who usually doesn’t like these types of films. It’s unique, wildly ambitious, and I’m still thinking about it now, which is more than I can say about most blockbusters nowadays.

    Final rating

    John's Best of 2020

    Best Picture: Soul
    Best Direction: The Midnight Sky
    Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman
    Best Actress: Viola Davis
    Best Supporting Actor: Delroy Lindo
    Best Supporting Actress: Amanda Seyfried
    Best Screenplay: Soul

    John's Best of 2021

    Best Picture: Nomadland
    Best Direction: Nomadland
    Best Actor: Lakeith Stanfield
    Best Actress: Frances McDormand
    Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
    Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback
    Best Screenplay: Judas and the Black Messiah

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    babypook
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    #1203158352

    Many thanks John.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    babypook
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    #1203160401

    The first thing no-one could help but notice is The Witch team at work. I found myself holding my breathe without realizing it. To call it eye candy is an understatement.
    This is also the best duo Iv e seen since Sleuth (Olivier, Caine) both of whom were nominated as Leads.

    I tip my hat to you supporters, who I suspected are raving fanboys (sorry) of Dafoe’ s work here. Iv e pretty much seen every film he’s been in, and not once did I notice his reverting to any acting “tricks”. He gives a genuinely original performance.

    Those believing that Dafoe can sweep could be very right. In fact the probability is high. If he wins one precursor he could go on to win them all. It’s Dafoe’ s time.

    The things I see that might hurt him is category fraud. I’d like to see The Lighthouse work without both of them. And Pattinson is equal. Unfortunate he’s not more prominent in the conversation.
    It’s interesting that the same kinds of finger pointing and vitriole isn’t being directed at Dafoe, although this might be in part due to it not being in wide release.
    It’s also hard to gauge whether LH aligns with their taste or what they embrace.
    The film also loses its focus in the second half.
    But these all seem like splitting hairs.
    I will never forget Willem in this role. I likely won’t revisit this for a while. The film terrified me.

    Highly recommended.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    John Berchmans
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    #1203160440

    Unpopular opinion, but I actually like Pattinson more than Dafoe in this film. Dafoe was loud and bombastic for nearly the entire film, while Pattinson was very subdued at first and then started to go batshit crazy at the end of the film. I felt like he showed more range. Both are fantastic though. I feel like Pattinson has no chance at a nomination with how stacked Best Actor is (and even if he was I still prefer Phoenix), so I’m rooting for Dafoe to win.

    John's Best of 2020

    Best Picture: Soul
    Best Direction: The Midnight Sky
    Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman
    Best Actress: Viola Davis
    Best Supporting Actor: Delroy Lindo
    Best Supporting Actress: Amanda Seyfried
    Best Screenplay: Soul

    John's Best of 2021

    Best Picture: Nomadland
    Best Direction: Nomadland
    Best Actor: Lakeith Stanfield
    Best Actress: Frances McDormand
    Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
    Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback
    Best Screenplay: Judas and the Black Messiah

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