This latest film release from Edgar Wright is the kind of movie that makes me excited about movies. It is made with such vivid excitement and visceral love of film that I couldn’t help but get swept up in it.
The film follows Eloise, played by a fantastic Thomasin McKenzie from Jojo Rabbit, a young woman excited to be attending the London school of fashion. She wants to follow in her late mother’s footsteps and leave Cornwall to see London. She loves the London of the 1960’s that her grandmother has told her about. She finds a small room in a boarding house run by Ms. Collins, Diana Rigg in her final film role. The room has a vintage 1960’s aesthetic that excites Eloise. That night she goes to sleep and finds herself transported to the past. She walks in the shoes of Sandie, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Eloise is a sort of ghost that haunts Sandie on one eventful night out. She gets to live her exciting 60’s lifestyle along with her. This inspires her work at the fashion school. It excites her creativity and she rushes home every night to sleep and live out Sandie’s life. However, things begin to take a turn as Sandie’s idyllic life takes a dark and desperate turn. Eloise feels her sanity slipping as the ghosts of the past begin to infiltrate her waking life. Is Eloise losing her mind? Are there actually ghosts haunting her? You’ll have to see the movie to find out. I won’t spoil anything here.
I love Thomasin McKenzie! She is fantastic here. Holy crap, she delivers a great performance. She walks the knife’s edge between sane and crazy. She carries this movie with a naturalism and a grace that few could match. Anya Taylor-Joy is her usual devoted and elegant self. She carries Sandie through her tragic story perfectly. There are some wonderful supporting players like Matt Smith as a charming man from the past, and Terence Stamp as a menacing force in the present. Every actor brings their A-game.
The filmmaking here is just delightful. Edgar Wright has a great sense of the tools in a filmmaker’s arsenal. He creates a wonderful dance scene where Matt Smith seems to be dancing with McKenzie and Taylor-Joy simultaneously. It all seems to be done with classic camera tricks and techniques. No CGI. It’s wonderful. He throws songs onto the soundtrack that send the movie soaring instead of weighing it down with obvious needle drops. He uses vivid saturated color to denote the transition between past and present. The use of red here is especially effective.
It’s also really scary at times. As the ghosts seem to haunt Eloise, the movie takes a terrifying turn. My goodness I jumped several times. I was on the edge of my seat in one late sequence where Eloise seems to see the ghosts infiltrate her waking life in horrifying fashion. The fear adds to the emotional sweep of the film. My emotions got wrapped up completely and irrevocably in the narrative. I was sold on hundred percent on this movie from the early scenes. It is a vivid and wonderful experience. I had so much fun. I hope you’ll seek it out in theaters and have as much fun as I did. It’s a great movie. It’s my cup of tea. A