20th Century Women (2016)

This is a great film if you really like montages.

There are… so many montages. So, so many. They clash with the very realist vibe the film goes for at other times, to me at least, as did the ending (which I really disliked, I felt like it nearly undid everything I was liking about the film previously). The film does well when it focuses very precisely and exactly on little character moments. When it diverges from that, it feels abrupt and not very cohesive. As for those character moments themselves, I think it comes down to how much you empathise with the characters. Some felt real to me, some didn’t. The dialogue felt very “cool” to me, very twee, which didn’t really mesh well with the realist vibe I felt most of the film was going for.

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Really, I’m not sure what the film was going for, it felt so all over the place to me. I loved the cast. I liked a lot of the more explicitly pro-feminist sections and conversations in the film, but a lot more in the sense that I aligned with them myself rather than I found them compelling sections in context of the film itself. I found the larger themes on age and culture confusing, and had difficulty registering a lot of the characters as feeling like real people.

I give it two and a half wooden beams, and a book on gender politics.

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