Something in the Air
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The Hollywood Reporter
This is a beautifully crafted work and an acute evocation of its period both in look and attitude, and it’s no less deeply absorbing for being somewhat muted in tone.
Decidedly not revolutionary cinema, Something in the Air instead quietly demystifies its subject. The tone of the piece is wryly affectionate but never indulgent; the experiences depicted feel emotionally true and lived-in without ever catching the viewer up in a rush of intoxication or excitement.
In Something in the Air, that past—a version of Assayas's own—is rendered in visuals so specific and evocative, it's perpetually alive.
It proves that the screen is the place where a memory can be reborn.
The A.V. Club
Because of its autobiographical slant, Something In The Air has been compared to Assayas’ 1994 breakthrough, "Cold Water," which gazed upon roughly the same period of the director’s life.
Assayas evokes the atmosphere so vividly, you begin to breathe in his tale, rather than watch it.
New York Daily News
Assayas may have been inspired by biographical memories, but “Air” is so sensitively observed that it simultaneously evokes a universal, and eternal, state of adolescence as well.
There’s so much to like about the film, and it’s a mark of Assayas’ skill that it's a hugely engaging watch despite the blankness of the characters.
Despite a fixation on fire as a cleansing agent (explosions, burning paintings, or a blazing house), the film, enveloping as it is, proves woefully short on burning dramatic or thematic intensity.
The opening sequences of this film from director Olivier Assayas are gripping, as students flee baton-wielding police, then embark on a late-night vandalism spree at a school. But the drama becomes mired with too many characters, too many shots of pretty Italian scenery and an unfocused story.
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