Movie Recommendation: First Reformed
First Reformed(2018) - Paul Schrader
Most films about faith are meditative, First Reformed is combative. This is the philosophical heavyweight championship, the battle between hope and despair. First Reformed doesn't simply deal with themes so much as it deals with the nature of consciousness and being. I love the pacing of First Reformed, the gradual build up of tension. First Reformed is a seething drama that feels like holding your breath, but never drawn-out or oppressive. As blunt and preachy as Schrader can be, First Reformed never instructs the audience to do anything specific, and the burden of finding the answers is ultimately left with the audience. The 1.37:1 aspect ratio is surprisingly striking on the big screen, and unlike most seething dramas, First Reformed is best seen in a room full of other people. I will be shocked and delighted if I see anything I like more than this in 2018.