It’s been difficult for me to describe what exactly happens in Waves to friends of mine who know that I love the film but want to know why. Trey Edward Shults’ third film, which is now playing in select theaters and will expand over the coming weeks, finds moving and deeply human drama in the twinned stories of teenaged siblings Tyler (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) and Emily Williams (Taylor Russell). But the film’s moments of grace come less from what the story is and more from how Shults chooses to tell it, particularly in the ways that the two narratives play off each other.
There’s so much to dig into with Emily’s story in the film, particularly her budding romance with classmate Luke (Lucas Hedges). But in order to discuss their journeys with any level of detail, the conversation has to go into spoiler territory and divulge a major plot point in Waves. Luckily for us, Trey Edward Shults was willing to go there.
Only read past this point if you’ve seen Waves – and if you haven’t, bookmark this page and return to this interview after seeing the film so you can absorb Shults’ wisdom and insight. Spoilers begin now.
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Soon enough we’ll be heading into awards season, but before that, some prestige films are vying for acclaim at the likes of film festivals in Venice, Telluride and Toronto. One of them has been getting rave reviews after debuting in the mountains of Telluride and is already being called a breakout, must-see film of 2019.
Waves is the latest film from It Comes At Night director Trey Edward Shults, and it sounds like a heart-wrenching drama following a family (Sterling K. Brown, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Taylor Russell and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) that is one the verge of falling apart. With all the buzz on the festival circuit, A24 has released the first Waves trailer to get keep the anticipation growing for this promising indie. Read More »
Director Julius Onah took a bit of a critical beating last year with his messy, inert, interconnected side-quel The Cloverfield Paradox, but he seems to have rebounded in a big way with a psychological thriller called Luce. A psychological thriller adapted from an acclaimed play, this movie about a model student who may be hiding a dark secret made its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and has been scooping up strong reviews ever since. Check out the intriguing new trailer below. Read More »
Originally published in 1999, Walter Dean Myers’s novel Monster has been a favorite among young-adult readers, using both a third-person screenplay device and first-person diary format to tell the story of honors student Steve Harmon, a black teenager with dreams of becoming a filmmaker, who is arrested and tried for felony murder in New York City after a bodega robbery goes wrong and the owner is killed. Was this kid from a supportive home a part of this crime? Or is he simply guilty of being young, black and on trial when he walks in the courtroom?
Music video veteran and first-time feature director Anthony Mandler has been desperate to bring Monster to the screen for years, and now he’s done so with a cast that includes such heavyweights as Jennifer Ehle, Jeffrey Wright, and Tim Blake Nelson, as well as musicians-turned-actors like Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, Nas, and A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) as Harmon’s co-defendant. Told in a non-linear fashion, Monster moves from Harmon’s life just before the crime to his time in prison and the eventual trial, all culminating in a look at the actual events surrounding the robbery. Various versions of the truth are told, and Mandler illustrates how a kid who wanted to capture the reality of his neighborhood got caught up in way he could never have imagined or wanted.
Harmon is played by Kelvin Harrison Jr., best known as the son in last year’s It Comes At Night. However, he was also in the Oscar-nominated Mudbound and was in two other Sundance films this year: Assassination Nation and Monsters and Men. Harrison delivers some truly rage-filled inner monologues in Monster that add a depth and level of frustration to both the character and the experience of watching the film.
This interview with Mandler and Harrison took place at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where Monster debuted. /Film spoke with the two about the process of bringing the novel to the screen and the movie’s fluid definition of “the truth.” Monster has yet to announce a distributor or release date.
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