With projects like David Fincher’s The murderer and George C. Wolfe rustin Being pushed back to 2023, many awards season pundits put Netflix’s best chances for Best Picture at the Oscars with Noah Baumbach’s latest, White noiseAnd for good reason.
Baumbach’s latest film, the critically acclaimed divorce drama. marriage story, was nominated for Best Picture in 2020 before the world shut down. He gave Netflix its first acting Oscar with Laura Dern’s supporting performance. It also gave us one of the best “memed” movies of that year, complete with discussions of velociraptors. Google if you are not familiar.
So with Baumbach’s reputation as an indie film god and growing respect in awards circles, clearly, Netflix would have another dog on the hunt this year.
And then you heard the words “Hitler studies professor” and thought you might want to slow down.
Based on the US National Book Award-winning novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, the plot of White Noise can seem quite daunting to the average moviegoer. After a year in the life of a death-obsessed Hitler Studies professor and his family as they navigate the challenges of a chemical spill turned airborne toxic event, an illegal prescription drug trial, and a sordid confrontation at a motel at gunpoint.
It sounds pretty awkward when you say it like that, but what Baumbach creates is a relentless and rich tapestry of obsessions, distractions, and philosophies, all geared toward avoiding the inevitable conclusion of our lives: consumerism, religion, celebrity worship, abuse of drugs.
It’s all part of avoiding what confronts us all the time. Some more than others, but probably none more than Jack (Adam Driver) and Babette (Greta Gerwig), who take us on a rollercoaster ride that plays out in a similar way to Joel and Ethan Coen’s dark comedies.
In fact, some of the best things about this film is how Baumbach uses his bigger budget this time around to create a second act that has action stunts and sets that feel earlier Spielberg than Baumbach’s previous work. The influences don’t end there either, as we have highbrow and fast-paced crossover dialogue that makes you feel like you’re in a Robert Altman movie and heightened reality moments where characters speak in a way you don’t hear in real life. like you’re in a David Lynch movie.
The only disappointment for me, and perhaps Netflix, is that the movie will likely be too much for awards this time around.
In fact, White Noise could become an awards season rarity in its own right. Very rarely do you hear the combination of a film that OPENS the Venice Film Festival AND the New York Film Festival and might not have an Oscar nomination.
Although the performances are pretty good and the degree of difficulty in adapting DeLillo’s novel is even greater, the best opportunity for the film during awards season might be with LCD Soundsystem.
Yeah. That LCD sound system.
During the final moments of the film until the end credits, Baumbach hits the landing with one of the most riveting and hilarious sequences when a grocery store turns into a dance party with the punctuation mark being the hypnotically charming earworm “New Body Rhumba”. by, you guessed it, LCD Soundsystem.
If you love “Daft Punk Playing at My House,” wait for the LCD screen to play in Hall 12.
The song has already been nominated for Best Song at the upcoming Critics Choice Awards and this critic can expect the same nomination (and win) on Oscar Sunday.
Overall, Baumbach extends everything you could imagine doing in a movie and takes the biggest turn of his career with this one. Many will feel that the film is simply too much to watch for the first time, but I feel that once you see past the “noise” this film presents in clusters, you see it for the bold and sometimes ridiculous musings and darkly dark moments. comedians. that make the movie persistently entertaining.
Watch White noise If you like
- marriage story
- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
- kicking and screaming (nineteen ninety five)
- Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
white noise MVP
Adam Driver as Jack Gladney.
Tasked with playing a death-obsessed Hitler Studies professor who can’t really speak German might sound like a rough pass for most actors, but not for Adam Driver.
Constantly pushing herself to play new, exciting, and near-impossible roles, Driver pushes herself to the edge with Gladney’s dizzyingly intellectual yet chronically needy character at the center of nearly every frame.
PLAY, PAUSE OR STOP?
While it’s not for everyone and maybe not even the Academy this time around, White Noise will leave Baumbach & DeLillo fans with a sly, knowing smile on their face.