Review in Brief: Black Bear (2020/21)

There have been plenty of meta, reality-bending films about writing a screenplay, many from this century made by Charlie Kaufman. BLACK BEAR boasts a wonderful performance from Aubrey Plaza as an actor turned-writer-director looking for inspiration, but asks you to spend a storyline twice over with awful and not especially interesting characters. It doesn’t seem to have a lot new to say about the writing process beyond your perception of what is real getting blurred, hence why Allison is writing a screenplay in the first half of the film and starring in the resulting film being directed by someone else (played by one of the actors from the first in a different role) in the second. The film also features Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon, two of the most interesting young character actors working today, but performances aside Lawrence Michael Levine’s film just isn’t all that compelling and tries your patience long before it starts to intrigue. 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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