I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) reviews and overview

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[Total: 32   Average: 2.8/5]

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a 2020 American feature film about a young woman who travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ farm.

Written and directed by Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa; writer of Human Nature; Being John Malkovich), based on Iain Reid’s novel, the Likely Story production stars Jessie Buckley, Toni Collette, Jesse Plemons and David Thewlis.

Plot:

Despite second thoughts about their relationship, a young woman (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip with her new boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to his family’s secluded farm.

Trapped at the farm during a snowstorm with Jake’s mother (Toni Collette) and father (David Thewlis), the young woman begins to question the nature of everything she knew or understood about her boyfriend, herself, and the world…

[May contain spoilers] Reviews:

“There are strings pulled in the very beginning that see you through to the end if you were alert enough to follow them, and not distracted by the red herrings, or the terrific and layered performances by the cast. Luckily Netflix is the perfect home for such a movie.” Assholes Watching Movies

” …it’s very clever but not terribly moving or entirely satisfying. Like Plemons’ Jake, it’s a bit too tied to its intellectual and existential goals to properly relate on a visceral, emotional level. Not for everyone, and not an easy ride, nonetheless, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is a bold take on a difficult book with a highly distinctive style.” Den of Geek

” …this is a Charlie Kaufman movie, so it won’t be a surprise to learn that I’m Thinking of Ending Things is anything but simple. As the dinner takes unexpected turns, like Jake’s parents suddenly aging and de-aging every time we see them, Buckley’s character is forced to question the nature of everything she thought she knew.” Digital Spy

” …the final 20 minutes are so bonkers, I’m looking forward to reading more writing on I’m Thinking of Ending Things just as I am eager to watch it again and break it down further. It’s worthy of awards consideration in just about every category it qualifies for, including unexpected ones such as Original Song. It requires multiple watches to fully grasp, but there’s already no doubt it will be immensely compelling every time.” Flickering Myth

“Ultimately, the movie plays like a bullet-point argument for a thesis. And if in the character of the demiurgic janitor Kaufman is also parodying or deriding the notion of the demiurgic artist, who exercises such control in the interest of self-gratifying fantasies, the parody is a step too mild, too thinly and fliply dramatized—the film becomes what it parodies.” The New Yorker

“Kaufman’s earlier works – like stop-motion drama Anomalisa and superb theatre-deconstruction Synecdoche, New York – are undeniably strange, but this takes things further. How much viewers can stomach will depend on their tolerance of the characters’ eccentricities […] Kaufman’s skewed slant on reality may frame the movie, but it’s Buckley’s terrific talent that makes it worth watching.” NME

“While Kaufman truly knows his way around a camera and some ethereal story telling, his chops, unfortunately, don’t include the nasty world of horror. Many of the horror images and tension built by Iain Reid are plainly left by the wayside. Which is not to say, Kaufman’s re-imagination of Reid’s thrilling tale is incomplete, it’s just void of horror.” The Scariest Things

“Charlie Kaufman’s temporally muddled adaptation eschews the horror and thriller elements of the original novel – replaced instead with an existential cerebral death rattle. This is the only film I have immediately rewatched in years.” Screen Anarchy

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is so emotionally laborious, I came away thinking I’d watched six hours’ worth of movie, instead of one running just a little over two. But Kaufman isn’t totally wrong: Feeling anything is work. It’s not-feeling that lets you off the hook.” Time

“The film’s special touch is that though it addresses some of humanity’s biggest, most universal concerns, it makes suggestions rather than statements, honouring the largesse rather than trying to make a defining statement on it. Its brushstrokes are impressionistic, rather than begging to be deciphered in any way other than what they mean to an individual viewer at the time.” Vice

“To write is to commit acts of projection — fictional characters and figures in memoir are all ultimately fragments of the author. And yet, in its constant asterisking of its own material, I’m Thinking of Ending Things feels like an artistic dead end, like the confession of someone who can only burrow deeper and deeper into himself instead of looking outward.” Vulture

Release:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things premiered on Netflix on September 4th 2020.

Cast and characters:

Jessie Buckley … Girlfriend
Toni Collette … Jake’s Mom
Jesse Plemons … Jake
David Thewlis … Jake’s Dad
Colby Minifie … Yvonne
Jason Ralph … Young Man
Abby Quinn … Tulsey Town Employee #2
Guy Boyd … Janitor
Ashlyn Alessi … Tulsey Town Employee #1
Hadley Robinson … Tulsey Town Employee #3
Teddy Coluca … Diner customer
Anthony Robert Grasso … Diner Boss
Austin Ferris … Elderly Audience Member
DJ Nino Carta … Saxophone Player
Liggera Edmonds-Allen … Violist #2

Technical details:

134 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33: 1
Audio: Dolby Digital

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