Movie review and summary of The Cathedral (2022)

Jesse barely says a word throughout, and the voiceover, interestingly enough, is only for adult melodramas. Half the time I wanted to interrupt that icy voice and say, “How’s Jesse? What are his interests? Does he have any friends? How is he ? That’s what the distant style offers, and it’s reminiscent of the short story by Henry James. Adults are so self-absorbed, so defensive that they expose all their ugliness to a six-year-old child, without once considering the impact.

I read a review of “The Cathedral” where Jesse is described, inexplicably, as “calm and unruffled”. I have seen a child who feels that the adults around him are unpredictable, selfish and mean-spirited. Naturally, it dissociates as a survival technique.

The acting in “The Cathedral” seems “captured” rather than “acted out”. The acting is reminiscent of what the actors of Joanna Hogg achieve: Hogg places the camera at the edge of a room, letting people in and out of frame, conversations heard from the next room. It requires a documentary-like reality in the performance. D’Ambrose concentrates on the feet, the hands, the ancillary details, because the conversations are heard in voice-over: sometimes the conversation is a polite joke, but with all that underlying Things under. Actors have to be so on point with this style. Even with just a close-up or two, Brian d’Arcy James delivers an extremely insightful (and heartbreaking) performance of a man seething with self-pity and rage, who feels like the world has him. let down, who feels like the world should be more welcoming to him. At one point, while on a gloomy vacation in Atlantic City with his son and his new wife, all the hotels are full since he called at the last minute. He hangs up the phone saying, “Nothing is easy.” Richard can be scary. He ruins family gatherings. Everyone cowers, afraid of what he’s going to do.

Towards the end of the film, the teenager Jesse, interested in photography and cinema, explains (in voiceover, presumably in a classroom) what a photo of his two aunts, lying on his parents’ bed, means to him. in happier days. Jesse analyzes the room, the light, the details that we have already seen in the still lifes scattered throughout the film. There is a mourning in this monologue, although the mourning is a subtext, not a text. Jesse focuses on the material details. The chaos of his childhood – the pain inflicted on him by the adults around him who behave in frightening and unforgiving ways – is there for him in the way light falls on a rug. It will always be with him.

Showing in select theaters.

About William Moorhead

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