You won't be disappointed!
The acting in this movie is really good.
The biggest problem with this movie is it’s a little better than you think it might be, which somehow makes it worse. As in, it takes itself a bit too seriously, which makes most of the movie feel kind of dull.
The film's masterful storytelling did its job. The message was clear. No need to overdo.
I knew before I started Anesthesia that I wouldn't like it, but even with the very low bar I'd set, it turned out far worse than I'd expected. Unless you have the opposite taste in movies from me, I can't recommend watching it. It's pretty terrible.The film starts out with one long shot. The camera is stationed across the street from a florist and convenience shop in New York City at night, and we watch as Sam Waterston walks to the shops, buys flowers, picks up some groceries, speaks to passersby, and then leaves the frame. I'm assuming director Tim Blake Nelson wanted the audience to feel helpless and only able to watch the situation, but his constant attempts to appear superior and humble the audience really got on my nerves.I rented this film, even though the synopsis gave me a pretty big clue I'd hate it, because I wanted to see some good acting. With Sam Waterston, Glenn Close, Gloria Reuben, and Kristen Stewart, I thought I'd be in for an upsetting story with fantastic performances. Unfortunately not. Glenn walks through her very small role, Gloria isn't given anything to do, and Kristen gives an understated performance that just doesn't work, given her character's troubles. Sam is always great. He's a college professor, and during most of his scenes, he gives existential lectures—on paper they're quite boring, but he's had ample experience putting passion into his speeches. There's something about him that just makes you want to cry and give him a hug, isn't there? If you feel that way about the warble in his impassioned voice and the way his entire face lights up when he smiles, you're going to want to stay far away from this movie. In the opening scene, Sam Waterston gets beaten to a bloody pulp and mugged.The rest of the movie goes back in time and shows several different characters' lives intersecting in the days leading up to the vicious attack. Pot-smoking teenagers plot to lose their virginities, a suburban mom suspects her husband is having an affair, a man tries to put his drug-addicted brother in rehab, and a self-mutilating student turns to her teacher for help. Yes, all these stories sound deep, interesting, and raw, but when you watch them, they fail on all three counts. The entire film thinks too highly of itself, and it's not at all entertaining to watch.Kiddy warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, due to drug use and gritty violence, I wouldn't let my kids watch it.
Hadn't heard of the film and was scrolling through the HBO/Netflix/Showtime monotony when I stumbled upon it. Kept my interest from start to finish, nothing spectacular but a solid NYC character study of some seemingly random story lines divinely intertwined. Feels a bit forced at times but overall quite enjoyable. I am probably a bit biased living in NYC to be honest but the setting probably elevated my rating a half point or so. Overall casting was solid with a few recognizable faces scattered through an otherwise random cast. 90 minutes was the right amount of time. Would have rated it an 8 but a couple of the story lines just didn't work for me. Definitely better than a lot of the other films being pushed out. 7/10.
What's the point of life? The film begs the question. Tim Blake Nelson has made one of the most pretentious and bombastic films, pandering to pseudo-intellectual movie "buffs" to converse over their vegan, 5-calorie, triple shot macchiatos. Every character is too self-aware of their existence. They all question, rather than investigate the point of life, which is lazily done through characters reflecting out loud why they do the things they do.At the beginning of the film, Walter asks why we continue bringing children into a world so cruel. Why bring children into the world and not teach them respect so they can't say lines such as: "So dad can be gone all the time and you can be drunk all night?" This, by a 10-year-old. In another scene, teenage kids tell their parents to "F off" and that smoking weed every day is less potent than the parents' 4 glasses of wine at night. Right.Throughout the film, Kristen Stewart goes on various diatribes informing us pseudo-intellectuals how unhappy she is, because she is alive and can't stop being alive. She harms herself with a curling iron and when asked why, she says, "to remind myself of why I'm here." She's mad at the world that they can't change and even more mad at herself that she can't change either. That is exhausting to try to translate. I half expected her to take out Romeo's poison and drink it as a last "screw you" to the world, but alas, she will have to endure the curse of life like the rest of us. Also, don't do drugs.
While flawed, Anesthesia is better than 90% of what comes out of Hollywood. Tim Blake Nelson explores the mystery of what life is all about. There are some brilliant performances by K. Todd Freeman and Gretchen Mol. While I like Kristen Stewart (unlike most people), her part is very small although powerful and sad.I did not love the ending but the movie is still well worth watching.This is not a feel good, happy movie but It felt real and raw and very much what life is like. Instead of wasting two hours on a formulaic, predictable movie, try this and contemplate how beautiful, terrible, messy, and wonderful life is.