Review in Brief: You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Well this was a cheerful watch. I say that sarcastically, though apparently some people found this one strangely uplifting. Maybe it’s that whole lost soul thing on a mission thing. Joaquin Phoenix always manages to go the extra mile, to the point where his range of complex characters always end up being compelling but rarely, if ever, end up being sympathetic. I guess it could be argued Joe is a gentle kinda guy (he loves his mum despite their strange, strained relationship) , but he does (thankfully mostly unseen) horrible things in his hunting down of horrible sexual abusers. Lynne Ramsay is a really good actor’s director who doesn’t make enough films, not to mention being bold enough to guide us through dark and distressing material with nightmarish flair. You have to be in the right mood to watch YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (I’m not sure if I was) but it’s worth a watch for the affecting scenes between Phoenix and young Ekaterina Samsonov alone. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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