Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Dan Gilroy wrote and directed the generally excellent Nightcrawler and here he has reunited Jake Gylenhaal and Renee Russo for a considerably less biting satire on the art world.
Is Netflix the problem? It didn’t seem to creatively hamper Alfonso Cuarón.
Yet as with Soderbergh’s Unsane - which I think worked better - the immediate question seems to be what are so many famous actors doing in something so televisual?
The problem is compounded by the fact that they are playing characters that reminded me of people I used to rub up against in London’s media industry, many of whom were considerably less A-list and fascinating than they imagined themselves to be - and the trouble with making a movie about such folk is that it can end up having the same set of defects as its protagonists.
While Velvet Buzzsaw' was essaying satire I think I must have had the demeanour borne by John Malkovich throughout: somewhere between terminal ennui and self-disgust for simply being there.
As for the horror elements which kick in later on - a predictable sequence of grisly denouements - these are barely above Doctor Who level in terms of visual effects, scariness and mildly comic set-up.