domingo, septiembre 25, 2022
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Conversations with Friends movie review (2022)

So the main problem is its pace, which is too pastoral to handle what is, at its core, hardly innovative material. We have already seen the mechanics and rhythm of such stories: lies, deceit, narcissism associated with the belief that them history will be different from all other cases throughout history. Hidden text conversations lay out the terms of their relationship; the two meet, sleep together, worry about what their friends/spouses might think; rinse, repeat. Where «Normal People» shows the devastating impact of first monogamous love, «Conversations with Friends» juggles power dynamics – a wealthier, married man in an affair with a young college student – we’ve seen before, and not in a way that opens up many new layers.

Sleepy performances do not help either. Oliver is admittedly a huge talent, and she builds layers of complexity into Frances’s narcissism that turns her from an innocent doe to an emotionally destructive force over the course of the series. Rooney’s work often centers around young Irish heroes whose passivity hides a kind of self-absorbed inaction, as evidenced by Frances’ carefully crafted shyness. «I don’t think you think anyone else is real,» Bobby spits at her at the end of the series, and she’s not wrong; Francis, through Oliver’s very fair play, shows how we are all self-absorbed when we are young, chasing feelings and cursing the consequences. It’s a solid debut twist, seething with orgasmic joy and excruciating pain (both emotional and physical, in the case of recurring reproductive health issues that suddenly throw her fling into perspective).

But her scenes with Alwyn (mostly working with a kind of muttering of passivity) don’t so much flash as fizzle out, the dialogue rolling past whispers of Irish rhythms at all the volume of a stage whisper. (It doesn’t help that most of Nick’s real-life depression and marital problems with Melissa are told to Frances by other characters rather than shown.) In the last quarter of the show, Kirk has very little to do as «wife.» As a continuation of the brooding chemistry between Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People, it lags behind a bit.

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