White Noise: Driver’s Poise

Adam Driver is an actor without enough awards. If I were Empress of the Academy, he would have won hands down for Marriage Story and ditto for his performance in Annette. White Noise isn’t award worthy, BUT Driver is totally believable and admirable as the geeky college professor/husband/father in Noah Baumbach’s White Noise.

What the Rotten Tomato naysayers (the film stands at a paltry and unfair 63%) don’t understand is that White Noise is high art with a capital H.A., much like the Sparks Brothers rock opera Annette. The through line story deals with an 80’s family grappling with a toxic spill who are ironically disturbed more by life’s everyday normal material and environmental excess.

The Don Delilo National Book Award winning novel of which the film is based, along with Baumbach’s adaptation, satirizes college academia, social hysteria, infidelity, fear of mortality, religion and the irony of children being smarter and more mature than their parents.

The film’s weakness is its uneven transition between scenes, sometimes repeating what we as an audience already understand, and at another times, not giving us enough context. Scenes that work well are the action sequences as well as Driver and Don Cheadle’s dueling lectures on Hitler and Elvis respectively. I admire Cheadle, another brave actor willing to take on challenging roles rather than sure bet lesser quality money makers. Likewise, I thought Raffey Cassidy was impressive as the hyper-aware daughter.

Admittedly, I have a love hate relationship with Greta Gerwig. I use to think she was a wonder child, but after being the homewrecker in the Baumbach/JJ Lee marriage and Little Women (gag me), I’ve come to look at her side wise. I don’t think her performance here is equal to Driver, but I swear I am always rooting for the Gerwig (Greenberg and Frances Ha) I use to love.

The ending A & P musical dance is a fantastic finish that I wish the movie as a whole could have elicited.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at irun2eatpizza@hotmail.com

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