View Poll Results: UNSANE

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Thread: Unsane (Steven Soderbergh)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Unsane (Steven Soderbergh)

    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - **½ / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - **½ / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - **½ / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  2. #2
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    This one is interesting. It's equal parts one of Soderbergh's straight genre riff and one of his more minor experimental pieces. But at the same time, the way he adapts his version of a De Palma-esque (or of his own work, Side Effects-esque) thriller with it being shot on an iPhone 7 is really gripping and fascinating. Obviously some scenes and shots work better than others, but once your eyes and mind adjust to the phone being the visual eye of the film (with an opening shot of Foy at her desk that feels done with a considerably higher frame-rate and a straightforward lens to almost disorient and re-calibrate you before settling into more filmic stylistic choices through that afterwards) you being to fall under the spell Soderbergh clearly wanted to cast with the bold choice, as it becomes clearer as it goes that he knows how to best utilize the advantages (small size, next to no weight, general lack of real clarity) and shortcomings (looking decidedly unusual/cheap on a big screen, it calls out thin acting more vividly, frames have little dynamic range, general lack of real clarity).

    If anything I think it's the script's narrative arrangement that works the most against it. There's a clear roadmap of its reveals that often feels like it shifts or undercuts the momentum of certain narrative threads and lingering disorienting emotions involved that feel like they could've been scheduled more potently. Also about two-thirds of the way in, [
    ] There are some social themes that I think are really compelling, but again, maybe could've been employed in more complete ways. I will say though, despite my trust in Soderbergh, it was a worry for me going in: For a film that deals with mental illness and abuse, those elements are dealt with pretty intelligently and sensitively, even when using them to drive the narrative in very blunt and intense ways. The films ends up being much more about the [
    ]

    I think after Logan Lucky, and randomly watching Ocean's Eleven for the first time in ages at a friends house right before I learned I was seeing this, Unsane feels all the more jarring and alien. Not just for the fact that those films were shot on a Red Epic Dragon in 6K and 2000-era 35mm film stock, respectively, and this was shot with something millions of people have had in their pockets for years (+ special rigs and lenses, I'm sure) but because they explore such different corners of still clearly the same directorial mind. It's not entirely successful, and even more frustratingly, all the right elements seem to be there, just not perfectly sorted, but it's well worth a watch, as it delivers a sensory and atmospheric experience that could only be done by someone who's such an expert with the form knowing how to tear it down and build it back up in the rawest and bluntest of ways, with the sparsest amount of tools and supplies in his creative kit.

    *** / 6.6
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 03-17-2018 at 11:14 PM.
    Cold War (Pawlikowski, 2018) - **** / 9.3
    Minding the Gap (Liu, 2018) - **** / 9.0
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) - **½ / 5.8
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) - **** / 8.9
    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mitchell, 2019) - *** / 7.7
    Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019) - **½ / 5.9
    Bohemian Rhapsody ("Singer", 2018) - ** / 4.1
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) - **** / 9.2
    Vice (McKay, 2018) - **½ / 5.6
    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) - **** / 9.3

  3. #3
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    I heard somewhere Soderbergh plans to retire.









  4. #4
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    And he already finished his next one, with some speedy post-production work too.

    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  5. #5
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    Claire Foy is perfect in this- I have no doubt this will go down as one of my favorite female performances ever. As its going on I was hoping it'd build to something- the picture kind of takes its time- and it thankfully when it hits I was so sketched out and enjoying it, even though its nothing too groundbreaking. The stress and tension Foy inhabits is so real. It scarily reminds me of someone I used to work with who had that air of being on the edge of breaking apart and really losing it. Overall I only had one gripe with it [
    ]. Loved seeing Juno Temple and the rest of the cast deliver in all of this. Its not perfect but it is a wonderfully minimal film.

  6. #6
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Claire Foy is great and the film has an interesting visual aesthetic; everything looks real out of the iPhone but unreal all at once thanks to how sparse the locations are. That said, I do wish there was more of a progression for Sawyer's downward spiral. There's too many scenes of her and Jay Pharaoh's character just having casual conversation, and scenes where she comes off relatively calm that are populated among the claustrophobia and psychological torment she suffers that just feel unnatural and unrealistic...but perhaps that was deliberate? I just found it frustrating because the film's portrayal of her everyday anxiety is done so well. It feels less like a movie about someone doubting her sanity and more of a metaphor for the trials women go through in daily society.
    Last Five Films I've Seen (Out of 5)

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    Annabelle Comes Home (Dauberman, 2019) 3
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  7. #7
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Interesting that before seeing this, my biggest trepidation was that it was shot on an iphone, in yet after seeing it, I think the form meeting the function of the film is one of the better aspects. What I do have problems with is the screenplay and logic issues.

    I'll give Soderbergh the benefit of the doubt that he researched all this, but it still leaves me with some questions. Even if you let it slide that it's that easy to get 5150'd into a mental hospital, would a hospital with dangerous mental patients really have co-ed sleeping quarters? Even if you don't think a hospital would simply do the ethical/moral right thing to prevent the sexual assault or sexual harassment of female patients, you would think it would be a good business decision to prevent the liability of a patient or advocate/lawyer of a patient from suing the hospital because of rape or other male-to-female assaults and/or harassment. It's probably bad enough between the same genders to add that extra factor that can easily be fixed by separating the genders, at least when it comes to assigned sleeping areas (mixed gender supervised daytime activities seems fine). Anyway, I'm not an expert, merely observing from the perspective of common sense.

    Aside from that, I feel this film wants to have its cake and eat it too. On one hand you have a psycho thriller firmly planted in exploitation and direct-to-video salaciousness, on the other hand you have a pointed critique of the health care (mental health*) industry in America and a seeming critique of women too easily gaslighted and the malleability of consent. All worthy topics, but the continual questioning of the main character's sanity seems to throw any of those points out the window like the Chief in Cuckoo's Nest.

    *speaking of which, I realize that a low budget Soderbergh film that hardly anyone will see has little to no impact on the broader discussion of mental health in America, but I couldn't help but be a little irritated that movies like this might actually prevent suicidal or homicidal people from seeking help from psychiatrists, therapists, etc. Considering the high profile mass shootings we've been having lately, I don't think having less mental health services around America is a good thing, even if a few of them do fleece health insurance or medicaid/medicare. Again, this wouldn't be that much of a problem if this was just a little psycho thriller, but Soderbergh himself seems to invite the more serious discussion of mental heath issues in America, so it seems fair to critique his underlying thesis here.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 04-05-2018 at 06:26 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 9
    Manson (1973) - 7
    Brick - 7
    War of the Worlds (2005) - 8
    The Dead Don't Die - 5
    No Country for Old Men - 10
    Fear (1996) - 7
    Midsommar - 8
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco - 8
    Booksmart - 2

  8. #8
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    Feels like I'm not Soderbergh-auteurist enough for this. Big picture frustration and sky-high incredulous plotting do me in halfway through, despite many rich ideas and bracing aesthetics (FYC best scene: The Blue Room confrontation). Kind of in awe at Juno Temple's eventual arc, which is definitely a...choice. Claire Foy is god level throughout to almost compensate enough though. 5.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  9. #9
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I loved this way this looked. Great thriller; love the misdirection on what's real what's not, who's right who's wrong. Satisfying ending.

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  10. #10
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    *speaking of which, I realize that a low budget Soderbergh film that hardly anyone will see has little to no impact on the broader discussion of mental health in America, but I couldn't help but be a little irritated that movies like this might actually prevent suicidal or homicidal people from seeking help from psychiatrists, therapists, etc. Considering the high profile mass shootings we've been having lately, I don't think having less mental health services around America is a good thing, even if a few of them do fleece health insurance or medicaid/medicare. Again, this wouldn't be that much of a problem if this was just a little psycho thriller, but Soderbergh himself seems to invite the more serious discussion of mental heath issues in America, so it seems fair to critique his underlying thesis here.
    This is a valid observation but I'd need a spoken statement by Soderbergh testifying that he's attempting a serious critique of the mental health system. Otherwise, it's just a thriller exploiting certain themes and concepts. I know more than enough about mental wards. It's true that admitting to a therapist that you've thought about the particulars of killing yourself is ground enough for committing you.

    Anyway, this was a blast to me. I was engrossed and surprised all the time. Great script and Soderbergh rocking the iPhone.

  11. #11
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    This is a valid observation but I'd need a spoken statement by Soderbergh testifying that he's attempting a serious critique of the mental health system. Otherwise, it's just a thriller exploiting certain themes and concepts. I know more than enough about mental wards. It's true that admitting to a therapist that you've thought about the particulars of killing yourself is ground enough for committing you.

    Anyway, this was a blast to me. I was engrossed and surprised all the time. Great script and Soderbergh rocking the iPhone.
    Don't you live in Argentina? The health care system is profit based in America, so there's controversies here that you probably don't have. I'm too lazy to look it up but at the time this came out I did read an interview with SS and he said it's based on real occurrences where people get 5150'd that maybe shouldn't have as a way to fleece health care.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - 9
    Manson (1973) - 7
    Brick - 7
    War of the Worlds (2005) - 8
    The Dead Don't Die - 5
    No Country for Old Men - 10
    Fear (1996) - 7
    Midsommar - 8
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco - 8
    Booksmart - 2

  12. #12
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Pop Trash (view post)
    Don't you live in Argentina? The health care system is profit based in America, so there's controversies here that you probably don't have. I'm too lazy to look it up but at the time this came out I did read an interview with SS and he said it's based on real occurrences where people get 5150'd that maybe shouldn't have as a way to fleece health care.
    Yeah I get it, but having public access to health care doesn't mean there's no profit. A lot of people still have private plans.

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