Where I Watched It: Peacock
English Audio Description?: Yes
Do you love Willem Dafoe? I don’t mean, do you enjoy him on occasion. I mean, if we were in some desert island scenario and it was just you and Willem Dafoe, would you be OK? because, he’s basically the only person in this movie.
There are some other really bit parts from actors seen on security cameras, or in dream sequences, but the entire film is Willem Dafoe playing a thief who gets trapped in an upscale condo fully decked out with all the smart house elements, and the owners seem to never be coming back.
So, this is one of those one person one location films. Some of these work really well. Ryan Reynolds made a lot out of being Buried, Tom Hardy drove a car seemingly forever in Locke, and Aaron Taylor Johnson spent a lot of time behind The Wall. Now, one of the more compelling actors, and someone who is fully devoted to his craft (if you question me at all, I dare you to check out Antichrist) is inside. Inside this movie, inside his own thoughts, inside everything. This apartment is ridiculous, and while the movie completely overthinks the whole ordeal to the point of it not making any sense… maybe that is the point?
I had so many questions by the end of this. Where is the other family? Are they dead? Dafoe seems to spend an uncomfortable amount of time in this place. At least a month. He has basically reworked the structure of the entire interior. He’s figured out how to survive on what the place provides. Clearly the world didn’t end because he can see other people on the security cameras. So, where are the people?
When the film starts getting into strange situations with certain paintings, and things like hidden rooms, I zone out a bit while they feel they have to justify that.
Other than the film maybe not being written by a genius, the concept is strong, and Dafoe is great. Audio description here helps with the technology and screens we can’t read. Also, there is a lot of silence, since Dafoe is so very lonely.
Not my favorite film of the year, but damn if Dafoe doesn’t make every moment as compelling as possible.
Final Grade: B