Midsommar (2019)

Nominations: Best Movie, Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Special Effects, Best Director, Best Score

Cast: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, Isabelle Grill, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren

Writer: Ari Aster

Director: Ari Aster

Production Companies: A24, B-Reel Films, Nordisk Film, Square Peg

I adore absolutely everything about MIDSOMMAR (2019), and am completely stoked it’s nominated for five BTS Awards. It has a fantastic cast, a terrific plot, eerie tones, a fem goddess in the lead and shocking moments that stick with the viewer well after the final credits roll.

Much like Jordan Peele’s masterpiece GET OUT (2017), MIDSOMMAR captures the intense feelings of a 1970s horror classic while remaining modern and socially relevant. There are so many times I am reminded of two of my all-time favorite flicks, THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975) and THE WICKER MAN (1973).

The film begins with Dani (Florence Pugh) who is concerned about her mentally ill and suicidal sister. She gets zero support from her dipshit boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor). I hate that motherfucker. He treats her honest and warranted concern as if it’s paranoia. He makes her second guess herself, and gaslights her constantly. In the end, Dani is proven right as her sister kills not only herself but also her parents. One would think, Christian would step up to the plate and help his gal out, after she just lost everyone in her fam. One would be wrong. He’s a useless, selfish, narcissistic twerp who just wants to hang with his pals.

Christian thinks of himself as an altruistic martyr which makes me hate the doucher even more. The man has zero self-awareness and needs a karate chop to the dick. He doesn’t inform Dani that he’s planning a trip to a commune in Sweden with his buddies. When she discovers it, the bitch boy has the nerve to act as though she did something wrong by asking him about it. He eventually invites, much to the chagrin of some of his jackass friends, namely Prick, I mean, Mark (Will Poulter).

Mark has some weird and unjustified disdain for Dani. She does nothing wrong and is not the problem, at all. Mark’s big freakin’ mouth is the problem! He keeps whispering in Christian’s ear to break up with Dani. Now, I want Christian and Dani to break up, too. I just want Christian to be the one crying in the gutter with his only female companion being a crumpled up, used, 1990s, Hustlers mag. Neither of these creeps deserve a real dame.

Christian’s other friend Josh (William Jackson Harper) is no prize either. Though, he’s alright to Dani and isn’t as bad as Mark, he doesn’t honor traditions, culture or customs. He disrespects the commune so he can score a decent grade on an anthropology paper he’s writing. As Julia Roberts once said to the hooker-hating, sales-bitches in PRETTY WOMAN (1990) “Big Mistake…huge!”

Christian’s only hangs with one really cool dude, and that’s Pelle (Villhelm Blomgren)! Pelle is RAWR RAWR sexy and sincerely sweet to Dani. She should totally dump the fuckwit and get with this hawt mofo! It was Pelle who suggested the trip to the commune as it is where his adoptive family raised him. The place is absolutely breathtaking and wonderful.

It’s a beautiful matriarchal group (*cough cough* cult) that loves nature, dancing, femininity and freedom. Also, every once in a while, they have to sacrifice a few jackasses. Hey, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Pelle throughout is very supportive to Dani and offers her tenderness and a gentle ear. That dude deserves all the blowjobs. A gorgeous gent who shows genuine affection, admiration and appreciation for women always makes me weak in the knees. Not to mention, he has pretty blue eyes. I’m a sucker for blue eyes!

In the beginning, Dani is filled with uncertainty, self-doubt and looks to Christian for approval. By the end, she has evolved. She abandons all the negative and the need for that fuckwit to pat her on the head and hold her hand. She’s not a scared kitten anymore, and one man is happy for her – good ol’ Pelle. Pelle likes empowered ladies and imma like Pelle!

This is one movie I don’t only suggest to my friends, but I force them to watch. Everyone I’ve shown it to has loved it, and so many have mentioned the music used within. The right score can take a movie from mediocre to unforgettable. Sometimes the chosen music can even fit with a film and seem appropriate, but not make any significant differences. Here the music is part of the story. It’s a weaving mechanism. At times in MIDSOMMAR, the sounds are eerily calm or joyful in nature. Other times, they act as a prelude or a foreboding sign. It is with no doubt that it is the emotions evoked in the viewer which earn it the Best Score nomination.

As for the Best Supporting Actor nod, any of the main players would have been a wise and worthy choice. That said, I certainly get the draw to Will Poulter. He made Mark absolutely contemptable and is impressive and believable in the role. Mark isn’t just a side loser who pops up to annoy the viewers into cheering for his demise. His toxic jealousy and dude-bro attitude sparked a lot of tense and uncomfortable feelings in me, simply because he reminded me of so many jerkwads from my past. I’m sure the character did that to a lot of peeps. Many times, these roles are portrayed as caricatures that serve no purpose other than an increased death count. They rarely ring true in the real world. Poulter rises above the norm and gives a memorable performance of the type of dude that most fems have met and want to forget.

As for Florence Pugh, I can’t think of a better choice to receive a Best Actress nomination. She captured in a very measured and very realistic fashion, the development and progression of Dani’s mindset, emotions and overall essence as a woman. Pugh brought us on an amazing and fruitful journey that served as a beautiful feminist anthem void of soapboxing or preaching. There are several moments with absolutely no dialogue where Pugh owns the viewer with a look of despair, fading hope or restored faith. Her face tells us the story when the words don’t.

It goes without saying that I think Ari Aster is a brilliant director. I’m excited that he’s nominated. I love his work and MIDSOMMAR is his magnum opus. Every time I watch the film, I noticed new things I hadn’t before. His methods are significant and successful in setting the tone. In many instances, they act as an underlying and whispered foretelling for Dani’s spiritual journey. For example, only recently did I notice how often Dani was the only character completely visible in a shot, especially early on. In various scenes, the focus, lighting and even shading that was used on her are utilized as subtle indicators of the growth we will witness and her illuminating power within.

I’m also happy to see the SFX team getting recognized. I’m not a CGI snob, but practical effects do hold a special place in my heart. Here, artists utilized silicone molds of the actors so that when heads are hammered in, it appears painfully real. The graphic imagery is impressive as are many of the visual effects regarding the gore and death sequences.

Lastly, if there were a RAWR RAWR RAWR award, it would go to Villhelm Blomgren because that man is sexy. RAWR RAWR RAWR

Rating: 9/10

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