Driven by an eclectic soundtrack, the ambitious, critically acclaimed Waves is a dizzying and emotional foray into the lives of a Florida family pushed to their limits.
The claustrophobic confines of Trey Edward Shults’s earlier works, Krisha and It Comes at Night, are blown wide open in the brilliant young filmmaker’s stunning third film Waves. His exhilarating and expressive direction revels in the sunny suburbs of a southern Florida community, which has all but assured a bright future for high school student and star wrestler Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr., PFF SpringFest 2019’s Luce). He is young, cocky, and in love with the beautiful Alexis (Alexa Demie, Euphoria), only to be brought back to earth when confronted by his tough-love father Ronald (Sterling K. Brown), who pushes Tyler at every turn to strive closer and closer to greatness, no matter the cost. Telling the story of a great American tragedy through eyes of four carefully drawn and often shockingly relatable characters, Shults’s impressionistic yet raw drama pulls no punches. Working with a knockout cast that also includes Renée Goldsberry (Hamilton), Lucas Hedges (Ben is Back, PFF27), and up-and-comer Taylor Russell, the director draws out an ensemble where literally every performance is show stopping in subtle and beautiful ways. This paired with his utilization of soul-stirring music from iconoclasts like Kendrick Lamar and Animal Collective throughout, drives the film, co-written by Harrison, such a striking emotional catharsis that you can feel how personal the story is to both of them. Already one of the best reviewed movies of the year, Waves is a profound statement on the complex dual nature of life, love, and death that moves like the ebb and flow of the tides.
CAST: KELVIN HARRISON, JR, LUCAS HEDGES, TAYLOR RUSSELL, ALEXA DEMIE, NEAL HUFF, CLIFTON COLLINS, JR., WITH RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY, STERLING K. BROWN
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