Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

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JamesF
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Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#1 Post by JamesF » Sun May 28, 2017 8:13 am

rohmerin wrote:and please, not Pattinson for best actor. I hate him so much: ugly, disgusting and not good actor.
Pattinson's genuinely excellent in Good Time and I'd be very happy to see him win the prize.

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All the Best People
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Good Time (Safdie Brothers, 2017)

#2 Post by All the Best People » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:19 am

Surprised there isn't a thread for Good Time already, what with the film making the cover of both Film Comment and Cinema Scope, on the heels of the praise for it at Cannes.

I had some fear that the advance hype was sourced in its being counter-programming at Cannes, and/or New York-based critics overvaluing its local flavor. My concerns were misplaced. It is a driving, kinetic, pressure cooker, a thriller founded on desperation. Robert Pattinson is superb, the best I've seen him yet, and I must say there's been quite a bit of range between his Cronenberg roles, his supporting turn in The Lost City of Z, and this.

The frenetic, long-lens aesthetic the Safdie brothers seem to favor worked more for me here than it did in Heaven Knows What (the only other of their films I've seen), as did the general mood of aggravation and chaos that drives so many of their scenes. Both Heaven and this have scenes of people yelling repetitive arguments, the difference here is that here there are dramatic stakes. Lest that make it sound like this is a conventional narrative, the tone and narrative direction pushes to places where a Hollywood film of this age wouldn't dare.

Right now, this ranks with A Ghost Story as my favorite of 2017 to date (pending a revisit of Song to Song, which is very good but deserves further viewing and contemplation), but they are so different that one could easily despise one movie and love the other, or love them both, or hate them both; such is the wonderful variety of cinema, that two films of such different tone and pace and scope can coexist.

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knives
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Re: Good Time (Safdie Brothers, 2017)

#3 Post by knives » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:26 pm

I also liked this a lot too though without any prior knowledge of the Safdies. I really came into this knowing nothing beyond Pattison in a hoodie and thinking it would be some Trainspotting Bro-fest. Instead it is one of the most stressful and sad films I've seen all covered in an '80s style dayglo like Amos Poe's Alphabet City. Special needs people is one of my big sensitivities so everything about Safdie's character and performance put me into a very tense and shaken mood that even as it becomes Pattison's show left me drained in a way that the film probably was aiming for. It helps that it was all accompanied by one of the best pieces of sound design I've heard (maybe best since Melancholia).

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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#4 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:00 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I guess I'm finally gonna have to watch Good Time. Ugh.
I felt the same going into it for whatever reason but ended up pleasantly surprised.

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knives
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#5 Post by knives » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:06 pm

It really is a very good film that is absolutely heart breaking. Great score too.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:10 pm

Everything I've heard about it or images I've seen from it just seem so Gaspar Noé to me. And despite my liking some of his films, the world seems to only need one Gaspar Noé. But I'll make it a point to finally watch it, because it seems like they've just been handed the Next Big Thing baton

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knives
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#7 Post by knives » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:15 pm

I would never ever connect it to Noe. Some of the music and the fact that they like neon might be relatable, but even that seems a stretch. It's more of a very early Scorsese/ Cassavetes sort of vibe though with a far better sense of brevity.

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swo17
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#8 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:25 pm

Yeah, I don't think it's like Noe at all. It's a heist film unraveling in real time, and Ben Safdie's performance adds a lot of heart. I had the thought while watching it that this might have been how it felt to first see a Scorsese film in the '70s.

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Ribs
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#9 Post by Ribs » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:27 pm

The movie is only slightly more cheery then, say, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, though, so might not be something to just throw on unless you're in the mood for it

(I think the movie's treatment of Barkhad Abdi is utterly hilarious, despite also being utterly and truly despicable)

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knives
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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#10 Post by knives » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:39 pm

I really liked the use of Abdi since it highlighted just how comically and ineptly racist New York is while highlighting how destructive a person Patterson is. The ending too, with Safdie's performance, had me crying like a little baby. In a weird way I think this is one of the better presentations of mental disability I've seen.

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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#11 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:37 pm

Man! I really, truly wanted to like this, but it just lost so much momentum in its center that I was still spending far too much time worrying about the shitty collateral damage Pattinson’s character causes to plug back into the plight of his poor brother once we finally got back there. Ray’s arrival slows down an already stalled narrative in a way that kind of abandons any idea that perhaps Connie might find his way back to Nick (thank goodness and all that), but having to listen to the two of them bicker while disrupting the lives of innocent people is not my idea of a... erm.

Well, anyway, I sort of had figured I’d better steel myself for something a bit more kinetic and tense than this, and didn’t absorb the story it was telling me in an almost diagnosably anemic way - I should have been on an emotional rollercoaster whether with or against Connie, but instead was just begging for him to be gone for good. Maybe that’s the point? I mean surely it is... but this film wasn’t doing anything I haven’t seen done better. David Ehrlich called this “like a remake of Enter the Void as directed by the ghost of Sidney Lumet,” but Lumet had much bigger fish to fry, and Enter the Void had much more showy ambition to throw at the wall. This is a lot of sound and fury to get us to empathy, when I felt awful for Nick from the first frame.

Great end credits choices though. Best moment in the film.

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swo17
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#12 Post by swo17 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:51 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Great end credits choices though. Best moment in the film.
Agreed

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zedz
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#13 Post by zedz » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:13 am

mfunk9786 wrote:Man! I really, truly wanted to like this, but it just lost so much momentum in its center that I was still spending far too much time worrying about the shitty collateral damage Pattinson’s character causes to plug back into the plight of his poor brother once we finally got back there. Ray’s arrival slows down an already stalled narrative in a way that kind of abandons any idea that perhaps Connie might find his way back to Nick (thank goodness and all that), but having to listen to the two of them bicker while disrupting the lives of innocent people is not my idea of a... erm.

Well, anyway, I sort of had figured I’d better steel myself for something a bit more kinetic and tense than this, and didn’t absorb the story it was telling me in an almost diagnosably anemic way - I should have been on an emotional rollercoaster whether with or against Connie, but instead was just begging for him to be gone for good. Maybe that’s the point? I mean surely it is... but this film wasn’t doing anything I haven’t seen done better. David Ehrlich called this “like a remake of Enter the Void as directed by the ghost of Sidney Lumet,” but Lumet had much bigger fish to fry, and Enter the Void had much more showy ambition to throw at the wall. This is a lot of sound and fury to get us to empathy, when I felt awful for Nick from the first frame.
This is pretty similar to my reaction to the film. It felt as if having a repellent 'hero' was the film's big idea, but it didn't really do anything fresh or interesting with that idea. We just get the same note resonating in a bunch of different contexts, without any new understanding of the characters or their milieu evolving from it. There are some neat narrative ideas along the way, but they just serve to keep the plot manically spinning rather than take it anywhere.

It was well-done and entertaining enough, but in my opinion it's the most insanely overpraised film of last year.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:35 am

If anything, his character is too kind to be compelling. He’s got a lot of love for his brother but no way to transfer it in any way that’s remotely constructive or decent. He tramples the lives of innocent bystanders, but has wet-eyed slow-motion guilt in the process. He’s a bore. I found it really unbelievable that he didn’t leave Ray behind about a half dozen times before their arc reached its climax, because if he’s such a bad guy, why wouldn’t he? The movie pulls too many punches with Connie and it limits the impact he could have had were he more complicated and cold.

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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#15 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:51 am

I've read in the newspaper (I live in France) that this movie was another radical change for Robert Pattinson who was barerly unrecognizable in this movie (I think he did a good job in David Cronenberg Cosmopolis). Since "Twilight" Robert tried to escape from his Princesse de Clèves syndrome (aka leaving the classroom in chili con carna mode (aka = very fast) because his heart is making boom boom boom - because of Kirsten Stewart). Boy you have to carry that weight for a looooooong time.
For about 20 minutes I was mesmerized by "Good Time". First the music. I thought that it was Tangerine Dream. It sounds really good like their best soundtrack from "Thief" era.
The first scene with the psychiatrist I thought : wow! indeed, Robert Pattinson really changed (I was wondering how the make-up was done to achieve such impressive result). Moreover that acting was new to me, the way he talked, so few words and some tears. Until the door opened and Robert Pattinson appeared. So a beard was enough to change (fortunately for him he didn't try to Raging Bull diet).

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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#16 Post by dda1996a » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:57 am

Haven't seen this but Pattinson has turned into one of the most exciting actors in recent years. Denis' High Life is high on my most exciting upcoming films

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knives
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#17 Post by knives » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:54 am

swo17 wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:Great end credits choices though. Best moment in the film.
Agreed
Thirded

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mfunk9786
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#18 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:42 pm

For a film I didn't like all that much, I sure have spent a lot of time today thinking about this one. Maybe I owe it a revisit sooner than later, Richard Brody's review in particular is quite compelling and rings truer to me than something like A.O. Scott's.

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Ribs
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#19 Post by Ribs » Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:48 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:David Ehrlich called this “like a remake of Enter the Void as directed by the ghost of Sidney Lumet,” but Lumet had much bigger fish to fry, and Enter the Void had much more showy ambition to throw at the wall.
I'm... kind of baffled that literally anyone else was reminded of Lumet? I mentioned Before the Devil Knows You're Dead because it's, to me, the perfect apotheosis of a weird sort of "unbearably depressing movie" where literally every single thing that happens makes you more miserable. Which I think this fulfills! But most people don't think of that movie when they're talking Lumet, so I'm actually pretty curious what he meant by that - I don't think this movie really bears much comparison at all with, like, 12 Angry Men or the Verdict.

(I adore this subgenre, incidentally - I think Foxcatcher is in the same realm but obviously the quality's nowhere near what it is in the other ones I've cited)

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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#20 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:55 pm

The reason why your evaluation of this film as unbearably depressing doesn't really reflect my interpretation was that while I was sad for those that had to put up with Connie, I was glad that it became increasingly evident that he wasn't going to come out on the other side able to continue to be a destructive force in his family's life. The film was projecting that he was headed for a wall, the more depressing ending would see him come out on the other side and able to put Nick through more abuse. The only thing that truly floored me and made me absorb a lot of secondhand guilt was Abdi's character waking up, and having it dawn on me how concentrated that Sprite bottle probably was for it to have been so valuable. Just awful.

And the story of Foxcatcher, which I'd confidently call one of the best films of this decade, was far too fascinating for me to be totally depressed by it. There are so many small pleasures in the performances and the stranger than fiction plot to really drag me down into the depths. A good example of the sort of thing you describe, for where my buttons are located, would be Breaking the Waves or Dancer in the Dark.

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Ribs
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Re: Good Time (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2017)

#21 Post by Ribs » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:01 pm

Yeah, I was thinking in the "mainstream American film" sphere, Von Trier and Dogme in general is probably the precursor that most of these films draw on to handle this particular tonal style. (I think that's key in also understanding that the films all kind of force onto the viewer(s) a twisted pleasure in things going badly; you kind of just want worse and worse things to happen to see how far these people can fall. Von Trier's films are *hilarious* in this respect.)

I just remember Foxcatcher being 2 hours and change of pure, unending malaise, aside from the single joke which was classic Michael Scott of "you can call me Eagle, or Golden Eagle" near the beginning of the film. There's surely more examples a little more prudent then that but it's slipping my mind right now (Capote does it too, but if I remember rightly does have a fair bit of more conventional biopic humor throughout - beyond offtopic but I think it's really interesting Miller's made two movies that are kind of "difficult watches" and in the middle made one of the most aggressively watchable prestige films of recent memory)

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Re: Uncut Gems (Joshua and Ben Safdie, 2019)

#22 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:33 am

I came into this hearing a lot about Pattinson's performance. I'd really only seen him in The Rover, which I thought he was fantastic in so I wasn't necessarily needing to be sold on what he can do. Not since DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street have I seen someone who is as despicable as his character is, but not 100% put off by what he was doing either. It's what has set them apart from just being another pretty face, and that evolution is as admirable as it is interesting.

I was very moved and impressed by Ben Safdie's performance here too. That was the real surprise, and I too was crying at the ending. That is such a tightrope for any actor to walk, and pulling it off while wearing his director hat was as impressive as anything else.

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