Quick Hit: The firstA24 film I’ve seen that I did not enjoy.
So A24 has been on a hell of a streak with me. I scrolled back through my reviews, and I think the lowest one I found for an A24 film was Enemy. Looking at Woodshock before I watched it, I thought it’d be another winner. However, when the movie ended I was left disappointed.
Woodshock’s plot is thin, but here goes: Theresa (Kirsten Dunst) loses her mother and gets sad. She’s finds a boyfriend (I guess) and another guy, and they like drugs. She’s continually looking in mirrors, smoking, and all together drifiting away.
I think the biggest problem I had with Woodshock is that it looks gorgeous, but nothing else. Directed by fashion gurus Laura and Kate Mulleavy, and written by them as well, the film has an ethereal look throughout many of the scenes. There is a shot of Dunst putting on lipstick via a blackberry that could have been award-winning. There’re also several shots of Dunst floating through the trees, full of mystery and wonderful light. These are two women that know what looks good, and use it throughout the film. This is particularly evident in their use of color – at times evident of Dario Argento’s use of red – and they give the whole film a muted palette in light greens and greys, causing Theresa’s wardrobe of white to shine more.
But nothing else really seems to fit. The plot is less than a string, and comes off more as a spaghetti noodle then anything. It just kind of exists, and the more that Theresa starts to lose her mind (maybe?) the less interesting all the extraneous stuff is. There is one scene that strives to accent the nothingness, and it ends too quickly (but very violently) and calls to mind other scenes that use different implements to drive home an idea.
The soundtrack is generic punk music with no legs to stand on.
Dunst does a decent job with what little she’s given. She’s fairly adept at facial acting, controlling her expressions to give the illusion of inner turmoil. The gentlemen don’t carry the same weight, but then again, they’re not given the chance to. There is just nothing to this husk of a film besides it looks really pretty.
And so my friends and faithful readers, that’s why the film is going to end up as a “D-“. All show and no substance does not a happy critic make. Have a good weekend everyone!
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"