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Halloween Nights: Mandy x Mandy (Double Feature Review)

Garrett Smith Halloween Nights, Reviews Leave a Comment

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ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jacob Forman
Stars: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able

I don’t like being this harsh about movies, but All the Boys Love Mandy Lane might be the ugliest fucking movie I’ve ever seen. Levine goes on to make some fine movies after this (I quite like 50/50), but man oh man did I spend most of this movie constantly aware of, and mad at its, visual style. It’s all blown out, it just looks terrible. I don’t know if that contributed to my being totally disengaged with this, but I really was not feeling this at all through most of the run-time. The final five minutes did finally get me, but then immediately seemed to have no idea what they meant. I don’t think this movie knows how to feel about Mandy Lane—on one hand I wanted to cheer and clap “these boys don’t own you, Mandy!”; but on the other hand it seemed like she was in it for the kicks. I think that’s spoiler free enough, but if you’ve seen All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, hopefully you’ll know what I mean and can maybe provide some insight for me, because I really just was thrown for a loop by the ending. I didn’t see it coming, which is great, but I also didn’t know what to make of it at all. I truly don’t think the movie knows what it’s trying to do so it doesn’t really work. Any alternative readings people have would be appreciated in the comments on this one!

Score: ★★☆☆☆

MANDY

Director: Panos Cosmatos
Writers: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache

Like someone took SLEEP’s DOPESMOKER and turned it into a movie.

Like an IRON MAIDEN album cover brought to life.

MANDY is about loss, control, power, unchecked male ego, systems that encourage that ego, and METAL.

This movie spoke to me on many levels. Perhaps being a survivor of a religious cult means I connect with this more than others, but I think even if you’re just a Rage Cage fan you could love Mandy. Cage is really, really great in this thanks to Cosmatos giving some legit context to his larger than life performance. And Andrea Risborough has a scene that fucking OWNS, though I won’t spoil it here.

The score is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking, and in the theater I could just feel it in my chest the whole time. And the visuals are so simple but achieve such an otherwordly quality.

Mandy is a work of art. I don’t how how else to say it or explain my experience with it. I was moved and totally blown away. One of the best movies of the year.

Score: ★★★★★

Find these reviews, and more of Garrett’s reviews, on Letterboxd.

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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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