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Venice Film Review: ‘Sunset’

Venice Film Review: ‘Sunset’

Expectations were always going to be too high for “Sunset,” László Nemes’ follow-up to his extraordinary Oscar-winning “Son of Saul.” Given how his first feature re-invented the Holocaust film genre, jettisoning the usual sentimentality for a terrifyingly immersive plunge into hell, it was natural to think he’d take his next subject, Budapest on the brink of World War I, and show a refined world careening towards chaos. Alas, the chaos is there but without the coherence necessary to balance sensorial turmoil with genuine meaning.

In terms of pure visual impact, Mátyás Erdély’s 35mm camera impresses with bravura agility, wandering through the impressive sets with Kubrickian urgency, yet the befuddling story of a young woman encountering seething violence while searching for her brother destabilizes without making any situation or character either real or interesting. Sales have been brisk in the lead-up to the Venice premiere, yet distributors like Sony Picture Classics (who has U.

See full article on Variety