One of the greatest films this century. This film showcases a potential in cinema that is scarce in other mediums. I have never felt as transported by a film as I did with Blade Runner 2049. With most films I love, I rewatch them to relive a great performance, or dissect why a scene worked so well, but with Blade Runner 2049 I came back to theatres three times to just inhabit that world for a few more hours. Every accolade about this film is well deserved. The technical mastery and craftsmanship of the effects and production design, the amazing performances, the gorgeous score by Zimmer, and Deakins going full super saiyan.
I want to just highlight Denis Villaneuve.
There is something so poetic about Denis Villaneuves films. His films have such a powerful sense of place. A great example of this is the apartment rooftop scene between Joi and K. The sounds of gentle rain in the hazy green light, the tranquil voice from a distant advertisement, the hypnotic flashing lights of passing cars, it’s all meant to put you in a trance. Just as Joi is entrancing K with affection and proclamations of love, the scene and atmosphere is having a similar effect on the viewer. I immediately felt connected to K in that moment, in the first 15 minutes of the film.
It’s in this externalization of his characters complex emotions that I feel Denis is at his best. It also is what made him perfectly suited to play in the Blade Runner sandbox, a meditative world of complex morality and big questions. Whether it’s the frenetic instability of flashing lights over a damaged Elvis concert, or the violently inevitable crashing of waves in darkness during the existential climax, these moments empathize you to his characters. As the film posits very philosophical questions, his sweeping lingering shots allow you the time to sit with them.
This is not a new concept, I just feel it hasnt been executed this masterfully since Kurosawa and Denis Villaneuves films are full of these moments. I cannot wait for Dune.