'Past Lives' (2023)/Directed by Celine Song/Grade: C+
Okay, so I went and saw Past Lives (2023) at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center last night after all the hype surrounding it, and honestly, I don't get it. It's nicely shot and all, the performances are very naturalistic, as is the dialogue. The direction is just fine. But nothing about this struck me as groundbreaking. It's very much just a bunch of conversations between these two friends over the years about, essentially, why they're not together, and where their lives have gone in the time they've been apart. Maybe it's cause I've not had a similar kind of experience as either of its main characters, but I just did not connect with this one iota. If anything, this was an instance where the slow, contemplative filmmaking, mixed with the characters' constantly-trying-to-be-profound-yet-in-actuality-deeply-simplistic ongoing discussions of love and destiny, rubbed me as rather pretentious and self-important. This is a rare instance where I don't exactly feel like I need to delve too deeply into my thoughts as with other reviews, because A) I was so bored by this picture I didn't have the energy, and B) because I honestly summed up every issue I had with it, as well as what little I did like about it, already. I wouldn't waste my time with this one. The best film of the year, it is not.