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Good Time

After watching the Safdie brothers’ film Uncut Gems last year, I wanted to look at some of their other films, so upon recommendation I watched Good Time, their film from 2017. Connie (Robert Pattinson) cons his brother Nick (Ben Safdie), who appears to be developmentally delayed, into robbing a bank with him. The heist goes terribly wrong, and Nick and Connie become separated. Nick gets caught, and Connie spends the rest of the night trying to get him out of the hospital where he is being held for observation. The film seems to have served as a blueprint for the Safdie brothers’ style in Uncut Gems. The film’s pace is a bit hyperkinetic-there is a lot of movement, and the techo-driven score helps keep it brisk as well as unsettling. I love the technique where the characters don’t seem to know what is coming next, and neither does the viewer; there are constant surprises and twists of plot, and I felt always on edge knowing that the characters were always one step away from disaster and never exactly sure how they were going to get out of their situations. At each step, Connie seems to dig a deeper hole for himself, yet he seems like he somehow will get out of it. The acting is great. Robert Pattinson again gives a stellar performance in an indie role that is becoming his trademark. Here, he is always up to no good, but he brings heart to his character who is committed to “family first”. Safdie is also great, and the two of them are wonderful together. Thumbs up for a film that doesn’t seem to be a lot different from Uncut Gems in style, although I actually thought that the Pattinson-Safdie combination worked better than Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems (although I still thought Sandler gave a great performance). I also loved the ending of this one – it was very poignant yet interesting. (2017; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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