Ok, I’m still trying to grasp the multiple awards for which Aftersun has won and been nominated. While story telling gurus advise writers to show don’t tell, Charlotte Wells may have taken this too far. I appreciate avant garde cinematography (Gregory Oke), but unless you give the audience a little more context, we’re more mystified than moved.
Still, Aftersun wasn’t a bomb by any stretch. I get the ennui of vacationing with a single parent/only child. There is such beauty in there being just of the two of you, but at the same time, especially once your child hits middle school, there’s a push pull of adult vs. child activities/freedom vs. watching over, entertainment vs. quiet activity contentment.
I empathized with the dad Paul Mescal who was obviously struggling with his own mental health issues, yet unable to communicate those due to his parental responsibilities. His daughter was played brilliantly as well by Frankie Corio in what felt very cinema verite, in fact literally, since Frankie and Paul trade use of a film camera.
And for the love of God, can we go back to pre-cell phones when physical objects (such as cameras themselves) were single use items instead of our current annoying cell phone as jack knife of a thousand uses? Life was better back then and was certainly kinder to movie houses. But I digress on my soap box. Suffice to say that Aftersun is worth seeing even if the puzzle forces you to put in some make shift pieces yourself.