Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing ★★

There's only so much you can do to screw up gorgeous natural-lit nature photography with strong color saturation and tons of golden hour silhouettes, but every moment of this as a courtroom drama and/or romantic character sketch feels like children playing Swamp Rats dress-up. Daisy Edgar-Jones is a disaster, failing at every possible turn to successfully communicate a character who grew up poor, or illiterate, or without daily access to running water, makeup, and hair product. Or just, like, before the late 1990s. And the physical production fails to support her at any point, making her look like a model doing a bayou-themed shoot in front of a green screen. The screenplay adaptation clearly understands that you need to cut some scenes for time, but not that you need to make sure that you choose which scenes to cut based on the function they serve in the story. I grew to look forward to David Strathairn's scenes with the desperate need with which a junkie anticipates his next hit.

(Full review at Alternate Ending)

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