14 Movies That Defied Expectations — IndieWire Critics Survey

IndieWire | 4/9/2019 | Staff
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'Shazam' Does Its Magic as 'Dumbo' Deflates -- Will It Be 'Avengers' to the Rescue?

This past weekend saw the release of “Shazam!,” a movie that proved to be a pleasant surprise for some critics who hadn’t been expecting much from D.C.’s latest superhero extravaganza.

Week - Question - Film - Expectations

This week’s question: What film has most defied your expectations, either for better or for worse?

The severity of Robert Bresson without the originality, a similar obsession with evil but veering toward the showmanship of grotesquerie: Bruno Dumont had long struck me as a director of great ambition with an artistic vanity to match, and when the New York Film Festival announced a nearly four-hour film of his, I went to see it with a sense of obligation falling short of the curiosity I’d like to bring to all movies but, on that day, didn’t—and that movie, “Li’l Quinquin,” turned out to be, from the very start, a cosmic exhilaration. It’s the self-remaking, the second artistic life of a filmmaker in his fifties and, apart from Dumont’s own personal breakthrough, one of the crucially pathbreaking recent films—as well as a sharp lesson to approach every movie with an open mind and a clean slate without dismayed anticipation on the basis of previous distastes.

Movies - Expectations - Years - Release - Mind

Numerous movies have defied my expectations for better or worse over the years, but a recent 2019 release comes to my mind, “Native Son,” directed by Rashid Johnson and screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks.

The film was already my most anticipated at Sundance due to the casting of ‘Moonlight’ star Ashton Sanders, and “If Beale Stree Could Talk” star Kiki Layne, but I found myself being out surprised by the grave subject matter on display. I found myself identifying with Ashton Sander’s character Bigger Thomas as he struggled with his identity as a young black man in America....
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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