DIR: TREY EDWARD SHULTS. WITH: KELVIN HARRISON JR, TAYLOR RUSSELL, LUCAS HEDGES, ALEXA DEMIE, RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY, STERLING K BROWN. USA 2019.
A talented ensemble take on contemporary family life in this bold, masterful drama. Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr) is a high-school wrestling star with a loving girlfriend Alexis (Alexa Demie), a stern but supportive father (Sterling K Brown) and a bright future ahead of him. He’s on track to graduate with a university scholarship, but the combination of family pressures, a shoulder injury, and some bad news from Alexis drives Tyler to start popping prescription painkillers. His golden existence starts to fracture around him, a trajectory that is almost unbearably tense to watch. Yet just as the audience starts to feel we have a handle on where the film might be going, Waves displaces us entirely. Director Trey Edward Shults is a confident, ambitious film-maker, playing with aspect ratio and a shifting colour palette to ensure Waves gets under the viewer’s skin. He’s aided in this by the brilliantly anxious score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as by a roster of magnificent performances. A visually inventive, emotionally taut and compelling experience. Waves has garnered terrific word of mouth and reviews at all its festival screenings.
Screening as part of CINECITY: THe Brighton Film Festival 2019. Each year, CINECITY takes you on adventures in world cinema, bringing you the best in festival previews, live cinema and archive treasures.