Forgot to post my thoughts on the new Spike Lee joint, "BlacKkKlansman", so here we go. It's an absurd film, one that leans heavily into the craziness of its premise, but grounding it in enough reality to keep you intruiged. That it's all based on a true story makes it all the more crazy, and still Lee manages to ground that story, as there are some very heavy moments breaking through the relaxed tone of the film. The scene with Harry Belafonte and the Birth of a Nation screening is just a masterclass in tone and editing, and it alone would justify the existence of this film. The cast is great, Washington balances his part nicely, showing swagger and doubt and carrying the film. Driver is a delight, as always, he just is one of the finest actors working today. Grace also shines in his role, and Harrier is fierce and jolt of energy when she graces the screen.
Now, Lee's direction is surprisingly restrained, and sometimes he just takes a bit too long to get to the point of the scene (the dance number could have used some trimming), but the way he constructs and shoots the last 10 minutes is just masterful. Just when you think the movie is so high of itself that it almost seems self congratulatory, he serves you with a one-two punch to the stomach that leaves you thinking all the way home and then some.
This is not the best film of the year, but it is one of the most important, and that should mean that the Academy will overlook Lee as they so often did already, but I hope a lot of people will find their way to this film.
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