• There should be praise for Gosling, Ford, Roger Deakins and Dennis Gassner (the product designer who worked on road to perdition, skyfall, o brother where art thou?) but this is Villeneuve’s show and he’s in total visual command of this brilliant film
  • Intelligent reflections and meditations on what it means to be human
  • This is amongst the best work for deakins (only one I think right now is clearly superior is assassination of jesse james)—he has roots in dark sci-fi dystopia with 1984’s 1984 which is beautifully photographed. The entire BR 2049 is so visually arresting– highlights I’ll mention below but my favorite section may be the orange haze of vegas
  • Gosling is on fire with this and la la land and going back to blue valentine in 2010, drive in 2011. If he can continue this we’re talking about a run that rivals the run of say pacino or Nicholson in the early 70’s. Two runs I have always marveled at.
  • Speaking of pacino, gosling gets the “train whistle” pacino moment in the godfather when he finds the horse at the orphanage. It’s a spectacular moment for gosling aided heavily by villeneuve
  • I think I have a casting issue with Sylvia Hoeks as “Luv” the guard dog for Leto’s Wallace and main villain. That role/character should be more potent
  • Robin write’s hard-drinking police chief anchors the film in its noir roots
  • I love leto’s room—it’s one of the films painterly highpoints- but whether it’s the writing or acting or both I don’t love the scenes with leto. He’s too often talking about what the film is about instead of being a character in the film
  • Another top 3 pictorial scene for me is gosling and hoeks walking down the hall in Wallace corporate office and we have a venetian blind like effect with different size light blocking—very similar to the conformist
  • Ford rivals gosling’s achievement—if this is his walk-off into the sunset after such a legendary career then what a feather in his cap it is. He has multiple scenes of silence that are devastating. One with gosling when he’s drinking and the very end of course.
  • That ending is another difference with villeneuve and ridley scott. There’s a heart here- I had tears in 2049—it doesn’t make for a better film but it certainly puts the film more in line with arrival villeneuve’s previous effort
  • Like arrival and sicario you are immersed and in awe of this world of visual amazement
  • I see influences of wall-e (orphanage san diego dump site) where deakins was of course a key member of their visual team for that film and Pinocchio with gosling being a real boy, etc
  • I can’t unread the daily mirror’s comment saying that this is closer to an epic than ridley scott’s original which is closer to a noir—I think there’s truth here. I see influences of spielberg’s AI and Spielberg adores david lean and Lawrence of arabia and clearly I see that too with the ability to handle scope, gorgeous establishing shots
  • This film is fattier than the original- I don’t love every scene
  • The reflected window in the sewer-like area where gosling meets hiam abbass’s freysa is absolutely stunning—one of my favorite 3 film as still frame art moments—it reminds me of tarkovsky’s stalker in its stark beauty
  • I could change my mind with a third viewing but I thought there were 2-3 times when Villeneuve gave us a reminder of what a character is thinking or why he’s doing something that he didn’t need to. He does it when gosling gets off the bridge (which is a dazzling scene)—he repeats freysa’s line about dying for a cause and then bautista’s line (this is the third time we’re heard this and 2nd repeated in our heads) about witnessing a miracle. He should have a little more faith in the audience to put that together—not a big flaw by any means but still
  • Gosling’s “K” achieves earned melancholy- it’s what Rutger Hauer achieves in the original. He sees Joi (who is a breakout star and phenomenally played by ana de armas) die twice- once by getting stepped on by Luv and another time, in a great scene- the big hologram scene of ana de armas), when he realizes she just calls him “Joe” because she was programed too and it wasn’t real love. It’s devastating for him and gosling is so damn good. He’s great at the end when he, like Hauer, realizes reverence and supreme appreciation for the natural beauty of the world- this time it’s snow-
  • I will be very pleased if there’s a better #2 film of the year. It will mean we’ve had a strong year
  • Must-See/Masterpiece border