To me, this movie is perfection.
Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.
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 reviewer who said this was one of the most bizarre and incomprehensible films they'd ever seen, I imagine, must be fairly new to movies. It's not incomprehensible in the slightest, it just happens to be coming from a unique perspective and requires a bit of focus.All three lead performances are incredible, I agree with a previous comment that they're all Oscar worthy. Certainly, Helena Howard is a force and in my book gives one of the best performances I've seen this year. She has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and I look forward to seeing more of her.I just love the way Josephine Decker's mind works. I've enjoyed her previous films and they seem to just get better with each release. Cinematography, pacing, narrative, performances, sound design; all of the elements here are intricate and purposeful and captured with precision.I can understand someone not enjoying the film because it is not a straight forward drama, it's brimming with anxiety and confusion and youthful naiveté (all of which are there for good reason) and does require a certain level of dedication as a viewer, but if you can give it a chance and take the time to digest the emotional roller coaster that is Madelin'e mind I think you'll be happy you did.
//Revelation Film Festival Review//Arthouse films are often labelled with different adjectives that can split audiences. What some might label as pretentious, others might consider as a masterpiece. Madeleine's Madeleine oscillates between both sentiments but through its sheer force of its own conviction proves to be a startling achievement.The story follows Madeleine (an excellent debut from Helena Howard), a young performer recovering from a recent mental breakdown. As her personal life starts taking on a central role in a play she is rehearsing, Madeleine's grip on reality becomes increasingly tenuous. The lingering question is: is it art imitating reality or the other way around? Madeleine's Madeleine is an unconventional take on mental illness, but what part of mental illness is conventional?
I disagree with the 1 Star review who says this movie has no reason to exist. Everyone is different right? I'd say mental illness is one of the more worthy themes to explore in a film.
It's really well edited and shot. It's got some laughs. It's a bit erratic and dark and anxious, like the main character. The music and sound design is great. I'd say the 3 principal characters (Madeleine, her mum, the director) all give performances worthy of an Oscar nom. Yep, it's got an experimental vibe, it's kinda weird, but it's not eraserhead weird. Enjoy.
'Madeline's Madeline' is one of the most bizarre and incomprehensible films I've ever seen. It's about mental illness, I think. It's probably not a good sign when someone cannot tell you with any certainty what a movie is about after watching it. What I can tell you is the plot mainly revolves around a mentally ill girl named Madeline. She's a young actress who lands a role in a play run by an experimental director who teaches wildly immersive acting methods. The director forces the actors in the play to spend half their time, not pretending to be animals like sea turtles, but "becoming" animals like sea turtles. Cool.As you can imagine, these methods are not helping Madeline's mental illness. The methods aren't helping anyone, really. Since the story is told through the lens of a person with a mental illness, its grasp of reality is erratic and unclear. Actually, it's not at all times even clear who is telling the story. Perhaps it incorporates multiple perspectives, or perhaps we witness the out-of-body experiences of the protagonist. Again, it's unclear.It often seems as if the filmmakers made this movie confusing on purpose. It's intentionally inaccessible, and that's supposed to be part of the experience of mental illness, I guess? But that's a terrible approach to making a movie. Eventually the audience must be keyed in on what is happening, otherwise what is the point? If nothing is ever made clear, the film is just piling nonsense on top of more nonsense. What's most frustrating is that the filmmakers seem to believe all this nonsense is high-end art. It's the epitome of pretentious film making. The film's acting is awful, though I cannot entirely blame the performers. It appears that they were fed absurd direction and dialogue that would make anyone look like a laughable exaggeration of a real actor.Overall, this movie is a disaster. It has no reason to exist, and you have no reason to watch it.