Where I Watched It: iTunes (I really need to get screeners, Jesus)

English Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe

Narrated By: Marsha Bartenelli

Like i said above, Screeners. I’d love to reduce my costs, since this whole thing generates no income. Hah. Anyway, this A24 underdog did recently manage a Best Actor nomination for Paul Mescal, and it is well deserved. Let’s just get that right out of the way. Even if you haven’t seen Aftersún, just trust the process. Even if he wasn’t in my or your top 5, it’s pretty hard to deny that he’s not within range.

It’s pretty impressive that this is the debut film from writer/director Charlotte Wells, and she’s this good. Basically, she just made Mescal’s career. I honestly didn’t know who he was, but a team of breakouts, from Wells, to mescal, to Frankie Corrió are the reasons Aftersún, this little film that could, is impacting so many people.

As the film is about an older version of a daughter reflecting on a holiday (vacation) she spent with her father, she pulls back the curtain on both the good and the bad times, and reminds us that our memories can often be fragmented. What’s that old saying about rose colored glasses? Sometimes we yearn for nostalgia, but that trip down memory lane doesn’t always yield the same results. She does have some video footage to assist, but we spend very little time with present-day, and mostly with back-in-the-day Frankie Corrió.

Corrió is a find to be sure. Someone deserves a raise for finding her. She deserves to breakout in the best and biggest ways possible. If the Academy was good about recognizing child actors, she might have had a serious shot at a nomination, in a year that was really particularly strong for them.

She is in the middle of this pivotal summer, the one she will remember, and the one that sort of transitions her from child to adult. Mescal, as her father, clearly still dealing with the divorce and trying to put on a brave face for this short time he gets to spend with his daughter, makes this feel so easy. Some have said that’s why Wells and her script haven’t gotten the love required, because mescal and Corrió are so natural in these roles the film comes off as improvisational, or perhaps even like we are watching a real father and daughter, and this isn’t a work of fiction.

I think people will take away different things from this nostalgic trip, depending on your relationship to your parents. For me, even as a guy, it made me think about my complex relationship with my now deceased father, and the memories I could remember. The good, the bad, for better or worse, those are what I have left. Sure, there are events from my childhood I’ve totally forgotten, but there are some really important moments, as well as moments that seem rather trivial and inconsequential. But those are what I have left, and perhaps that is what Wells is looking to evoke.

Also, a huge thank you to Wells for not feeling the need to extend this to some ungodly runtime. it’s short and sweet, so to speak. The audio description here by Marsha Bartenelli is kind of perfect. i think, a female narrator almost enhances the reminder of the perspective, and her attention to detail in capturing these performances is appreciated. While some other extremely minor characters float in and out, this really is a two player game so to speak, and everything we can learn about each of these people only brings us closer to them.

I didn’t have the same relationship with my dad that perhaps Wells did with hers, so this didn’t quite hit me in the emotional gut. I know it has for many others, just not me. However, this is still getting an A, but it’s that depersonalization on my behalf that will keep this out of my top 10 (since I’ve given more than 10 films an A grade from 2022).

Final Grade: A

2 thoughts on “Aftersún

  1. Thank you so much for your review of this film and its’ AD. – What a great service you provide the blind community with your reviews. I always try to bring whatever I can to enhance the audience’s experience as I narrate the story AD –
    The AD writing, the film’s music , cast and production are all essential ingredients to this cake – Deluxe has a great team who pay particular attention to all these aspects in the AD department ,making our job as narrators a pleasure. It means so much that you came away moved by the film on all levels.
    Marsha Bartenetti

    1. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I definitely need to make a better effort to spell your name correctly next time. I might be doing something small, but you’re the one providing the excellent service. Without your narration, and the narration of others, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the medium as much as I do.

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