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The Witch

February 29, 2016
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I have been busy watching as many of the AW-nominated films as I could, so this is the first 2016 film I have seen.  The movie is a debut effort by Writer/Director Robert Eggers, and it’s a “haunting” and impressive one.

Set in the 1630’s (well-prior to the Salem witch trials), the film’s inspiration is the diaries, court testimony, and pamphlets of the times.

A puritan New England family is expelled from their community due to religious differences and the pride and arrogance of the father, William (Ralph Ineson).  William, his stern wife, Katherine (Kate Dickie), and their five children subsequently find a seemingly-suitable place to settle down, although the decidedly “un-settling” score foreshadows that William’s choice is fraught with danger.

Their oldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), has just started puberty, and with this hormonal change and the increased responsibilities placed on her by her mother, she is psychologically vulnerable. The family is struggling with marginal crops, financial hardship, and social isolation.  Add to this mix the strict and sexually-repressive Puritan ethic, and something’s got to give.

The acting is terrific, especially Anya Taylor-Joy. With the beautiful cinematography and dialogue of the times, one gets engrossed and transported back to this era.  As the family’s fabric unravels, as more and more mysterious events occur, the family being cursed by witchcraft seems to be the only “reasonable” explanation.

Eggers won the Best Director Award at Sundance and I look forward to his next film.  “The Witch” will work fine as a rental, but it’s unique and “spellbinding,” so it’s worth a trip to the BS.

I have been busy watching as many of the AW-nominated films as I could, so this is the first 2016 film I have seen.  The movie is a debut effort by Writer/Director Robert Eggers, and it's a "haunting" and impressive one. Set in the 1630's (well-prior to the Salem witch trials), the film's inspiration is the diaries, court testimony, and pamphlets of the times. A puritan New England family is expelled from their community due to religious differences and the pride and arrogance of the father, William (Ralph Ineson).  William, his stern wife, Katherine (Kate Dickie), and their five children subsequently find a seemingly-suitable place to settle down, although the decidedly "un-settling" score foreshadows that William's choice is fraught with danger. Their oldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), has just started puberty, and with this hormonal change and the increased responsibilities placed on her by her mother, she is psychologically vulnerable. The family is struggling with marginal crops, financial hardship, and social isolation.  Add to this mix the strict and sexually-repressive Puritan ethic, and something's got to give. The acting is terrific, especially Anya Taylor-Joy. With the beautiful cinematography and dialogue of the times, one gets engrossed and transported back to this era.  As the family's fabric unravels, as more and more mysterious events occur, the family being cursed by witchcraft seems to be the only "reasonable" explanation. Eggers won the Best Director Award at Sundance and I look forward to his next film.  "The Witch" will work fine as a rental, but it's unique and "spellbinding," so it's worth a trip to the BS.

7.5

Spellbinding!

Mysterious and Haunting
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8

I have loved the movies ever since I saw “The Wizard of Oz” as a young boy. When Beatle-mania hit the USA, Rock-N-Roll was my greatest passion, but I haven’t enjoyed the current music scene nearly as much over the past 15 years, so that void has been filled by film. In college and med school, I would see movies with my friends and we would stay up late into the night chatting about them. I still love seeing movies with friends and then having dinner to discuss them. This blog evolved out of my desire to tell my movie-loving friends about movies I thought they would enjoy. The blog allows me to do this in a fun way and to reach movie fans everywhere.

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