Adopt a Highway (2019): Drama

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A man is released from prison after many years and while trying to figure out how the modern world works, he stumbles upon a baby dumped in the trash.

I’ll start with the fact that this is a drama from Blumhouse – the king of low budget-that always-turns-a-profit horrors. A quite insightful and existential I might add, surprising in the nicest possible way. My next stop is Logan Marshall-Green, who put on, for the first time, the director’s hat after having penned the script as well. Did that come as a surprise? Not at all. Why? Because the guy is a natural. Marshall-Green is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors – now turned director/screenwriter. His talent needs to be finally acknowledged and get the spotlight he deserves. Then, Ethan Hawke… is something else. Always has been, always will be. He’s one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors and a man who very thoroughly chooses his next project. Since Dead Poet’s Society (1989), he hasn’t stopped to amaze. Last stop, the sound department where its work in this instance stands out for its perfection. From the opening sequence’s ‘voices montage’ to the letter’s reading.

Not everyone is made for this modern world. The full of emoticons, fast-typing, communication, the online slang that ‘infiltrated’ our every-day vocabulary, the mass behaviour that, should one decides not to adopt will become a pariah, and so much more make people who step out of the crowds to develop case studies. Adopt a Highway¬†looks life in the eye and gives us a bittersweet hope with a twist and says… ‘Through every dark night, there is a bright day after that’ – 2Pac.

Well, my heart goes out to the ones who only got to experience the darkness…

First Reformed (2017): Drama / Mystery / Thriller

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Tormented by his own past, a minister of a local congregation, in the outskirts of New York, counsels a young couple with deeply unsettling results for everyone.

Paul Shrader, writer of “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980), and more, comes back with yet another provocative film which he also directs. “First Reformed” is not for the average viewer. It is for the patient one and the one with the sheer will to understand that actions trigger incalculable reactions, be it on the planet or on the human psyche. Very slow-paced with no intention of impressing or pleasing anyone, “First Reformed”, becomes judge, jury, and executioner, standing up for the environment and God opposite religion and mankind. A character-driven story, with directing that clearly defines the editing pace and acting that shows you without telling you. And the few times it does, it shocks!

Rationalizing it might not be the best way to approach it as, other than the aforementioned, “First Reformed” puts under the microscope and subliminally scrutinizes sanity and how, unbeknownst to us, everything is connected.