The Nightingale came out on Friday, August 2nd, and all five members of FF2 on the runaround that week were completely blown away. We gasped, cried, and huffed in anger together through the whole film and when the lights came up, unanimously agreed on a five-star rating without hesitation. Suffice it to say, we’re ready to begin our Oscar campaign because we believe Jennifer Kent deserves a nomination for Best Director. To help get her that nomination by generating an audience for The Nightingale, here are a few words from the members of FF2 lucky enough to see the film:
Julia: This is an incredible film. It ticks all the boxes: fresh and unexpected plot, wonderful character development, beautiful shots. Jennifer Kant does not hold back; her portrayal of the ugly reality of white supremacy is brutal. Though it’s set in 1825, The Nightingale is very timely, illustrating how truly destructive a gun can be when placed in the wrong hands. The runtime is over two hours, but as I was watching it, it was so unpredictable and suspenseful that I was completely enthralled the whole time. Every actor takes on the emotional intensity of this film with ease, delivering a powerful and believable performance. Aisling Franciosi is especially excellent as Clare, both strong and vulnerable, both full of grief and full of stone-cold rage. Her chemistry with Baykali Ganambarr, who plays the tough but lovable Billy, is incredible, as is Ganambarr’s performance in its entirety. Along with Kant, we all agreed that Franciosi and Ganambarr both deserve nominations for best leading actress and actor. Actually, I think this film deserves nominations in every category. It is above and beyond in all aspects.
Giorgi: Often when I go to see a horror film, the ridiculous levels of violence only strike me as comical. One director who intends such comedy is Quentin Tarantino, whose Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood I found entertaining not in spite but because of his violence. I can’t even remember the last time I really found film violence horrifying before our recent FF2 trip to see The Nightingale. The Nightingale’s gore is certainly on the level of a Scorcese film, even if it’s not a full Tarantino, but the way we’re put squarely into the shoes of the most vulnerable and victimized characters as the violence unfolds brings the emotional horror of these scenes into full focus. What The Nightingale does the best job at is creating webs of power between the characters that are almost physically tangible; when Claire’s patron/ abuser tells her to do something, we can feel the coercive, violent force preventing her from saying no. This allows it to build suspense in the audience the same way any horror movie does, by setting up our anticipation of the violence that will unfold, and dragging out the narrative’s progression to the main event. The result is a psychological horror movie that plays on the abusive patterns that arise under imperialism, giving both the bloodbaths and the more minor acts of violence a deeper emotional charge from the embedded power relations that cause them.
Roza: The Nightingale is nothing less than a work of art. Brutally violent acts mirror the cruel and unforgiving terrain in which they take place. Fictitious characters such as Hawkins terrify us precisely because they really do exist and have existed forever. Clare’s anger both frightens and ignites something within us because we can empathize with its root; pain. We are suspended in a sea of pain, both Clare’s and Billy’s, and the filmmakers refuse to release us. Perhaps the most compelling element of this film is the unexpected and unspoken kinship that develops between Billy and Clare. Both have walked all the way through hell, helping each other through, until they’ve reached the shore, both literally and figuratively. The voices of both communicate not only their pain and loss through song, but they proclaim their hope as well. This film is worth every ounce of discomfort it put me through, it brings us as close to true devastation and pain as a movie ever could.
Here is a link to a full review of The Nightingale: http://ff2media.com/thehotpinkpen/2019/07/30/the-nightingale-…iew-by-ff2-media/
Go see The Nightingale, you will not regret it!
© FF2 Media (8/17/19)