Aftersun ★★★★★

You never really shake that feeling of seeing darkness in your parents that you don’t understand yet. The sudden realization that holes are being poked in your perfect image of them, and you don’t know whether to resent them or pity them or all of the above. I don’t like to get very personal with reviews but it’s hard to separate my thoughts on Aftersun from my own experiences, and it’s worth mentioning that I’ve probably never felt so acutely understood and affected by a film in my life. I think this is being described as a complicated but somewhat universal relationship, and in many ways it is, but Charlotte Wells is also getting at something specifically dark and definitely triggering for some. She perfectly marries this sun soaked father/daughter vacation with a backdrop of constant unease, never really letting you relax because you know something more insidious is going on, expressing it all through the disorienting blend of adult realizations and hazy childhood memories. The subtle signs you couldn’t comprehend, that you shouldn’t have had to, and the moments that become tainted. Complicated feelings of anger, regret, and reminiscence. I’ve never seen it portrayed so accurately and poignantly. Paul Mescal deserves an Oscar for this. This is a really beautiful and gut wrenching film that I don’t want to and probably couldn’t watch again. But you should all go see it!👍🏼

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