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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Autumn Lights movie review: women make men feel things

Autumn Lights red light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

Dead and absent women cause a man to have feels, but in an ethereal way, you know, with “artistic” female nudity and nonsensical pseudophilosophical dialogue.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

My cinematic psychic powers inform me that this movie exists as a thing solely because someone had access to two amazing houses down the beach from each other in remotest Iceland, and someone else said, “Dude! We have to make a movie here! It would look amazing.” And it’s true: Autumn Lights does look pretty good, and its setting is indeed spectacular. So it’s a pity that this is the movie that American writer-director Angad Aulakh, in his feature debut, decided to make. I couldn’t really tell you what it’s about, beyond a visiting American photographer, David (Guy Kent), wandering the volcanic black-sand beaches looking pensive and mopey because his girlfriend has just left him and also because he found the body of a totally different woman on the beach after she committed suicide by drowning, so sad and tragic (but only because she was young and beautiful). It’s the ol’ “Dead and absent women cause a man to have feels,” but in an ethereal way, you know, with “artistic” female nudity and nonsensical pseudophilosophical dialoguetweet, mostly with the couple (Marta Gastini and Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson: Rams) who live down the beach, about how mysterious and miserable life is. Mostly this is a movie about men lamenting how beautiful women are crazy — the only scene in which two women talk to each other is nothing more than an excuse for some random lesbian ersatz erotica — and everyone fucking everyone else with Euro sullenness. “Dreary and pointless” barely begins to cover it.tweet

red light 1 star

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Autumn Lights (2016) | directed by Angad Aulakh
US/Can release: Oct 21 2016 (VOD same day)

MPAA: not rated

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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