If you're a fan of this kind of cinema, you'll take to it
This is not a film for everyone, just like Kelly Reichardt films are not for everyone. So if you've seen her films, you kind of know what you're getting into, except this one is more plot-driven than many of her films.
I expected a good film but what I got instead was something OUTSTANDING. It's really disappointing that it seems like this hasn't garnered the passion I feel like it should. For a film like this to come across as completely authentic, genuine, without being cloying and overly sentimental, is an incredible, incredible achievement. The same patience Rogers showed in real life is demonstrated perfectly by Heller. Letting scenes play out without music and letting them breathe the way she did... absolutely perfect. This was the biggest surprise of the year for me.
More than your average family drama. Cinematic, experimental, and most of all, deeply moving
I'm in love with this film. I was highly anticipating it after the fantastic trailer, but even I was surprised by the film it turned out to be. Emotionally moving and devastating it surely was, but the technical filmmaking on display here continues to prove that Trey Edward Shults is a director to watch for. I'm also in love with his two prior outings (Krisha and It Comes at Night), but for me this may be his best yet. This could have been made in a more typical straightforward way and still been powerful because of the strong writing and acting at the core, and yet Shults wanted to do more than that. That may mean that he may frustrate viewers and may prove to make his film more divisive, but as far as I'm concerned, the experimental-like cinematography, score (as well as the existing musical pieces) and editing really make this become a near-masterful film. It all culminates to create the most emotionally taxing and moving film I've seen this year.
As for the acting, wow at Kelvin Harrison Jr. I liked him in It Comes at Night, but it was a role that was almost faded into the background of all of the drama occurring around him. With Luce and now this film, he's proven to be an incredible actor worthy of a long career ahead of him. Sterling K. Brown is, unsurprisingly, fantastic. Taylor Russell gives an incredibly sensitive, restrained and completely captivating turn as well. All three stand out among the finest performances of the year. What a shame that award bodies are going to ignore this film.