Where I Watched it: Apple plus
English Audio Description?: Yes
Yes, i did watch this A24 Apple release. it does make me wonder how an A24 became an Apple exclusive, but i went in with the best foot forward on this one. I recently read a scathing column about critics, and how insignificant we are, and what it is that we do. I suppose, we give our thoughts about a film from our perspective, to help people decide how to spend their limited time? For me, I usually focus on the audio description, and how that applies to my experience.
Sharper is actually not a bad film. It explains the title pretty early on, and the flow of the movie, the way the film tells the story almost in chapters is one of the strongest parts of the film. What really worked for me, was that it constantly made you think sleight of hand was happening, and there was always more to the story. It’s a blessing and a curse, as you can see some of the things coming a mile away, but some of the twists did take me by surprise.
The performances here are all fine, but all come from actors who have delivered stronger performances more recently. I think one of the few things that disappointed me the most was the underutilization of john Lithgow, who is a tremendous actor, but is barely in the film. At least, comparatively to other characters, he wouldn’t really even be in the top 4, even if he seems to be presented that way, due to his name being a draw.
Sebastian Stan is slowly continuing to grow into his own, and he excels in these Patrick Bateman type roles, much like he did in Fresh. Someone who is sexy and clearly dangerous, yet we seem to be drawn to him anyway, possibly even rooting for him. Julianne moore just has a massive catalog of roles that are far more dynamic than this, but she seems to be having fun.
Since the article I read suggested that critics are just these keyboard warriors and we should all be forced to deliver the criticism face to face, everything I said above is true. It’s an interesting directorial effort, one that tries to apply some good old fashioned Hitchcockian atmosphere, but ultimately misses the bullseye. It hits the target, just not dead center where it could get the most points.
Sharper is a tough film to discuss, because of the nature of it being reliant on the twists the film takes. So, not a great way to kick back into the constructive criticism mode. I liked it, but didn’t love it.
As far as the audio description goes, it definitely helped with the changing of the chapters of the film. Essentially the film works in such a way that our protagonist of the moment shifts as the film needs it to. So, navigating those changes is helpful. This is also very much an attention to detail thing, with a lot of nuance. like I said, i saw some of the things coming a mile away, but others surprised me. And I think, depending on how many films or books you read of this genre, you’ll find yourself at different levels of surprise. Like, not every person will see every twist coming, and there might be someone out there who saw all of them.
It feels like a nice warm up movie to start the year off right. It’s not good enough to be remembered at the Oscar’s, but it’s good enough to catch your attention while there are no other films like it being released.
Final Grade: B