Part of me dislikes the term "mumblecore" but most of me no longer cares and thinks it's okay and kind of charming. Most of the mumblecorers, so to speak, have proven themselves as lasters and still-further-going expeditioneers. To that point, and this is just my opinion, Open Five 2 is the best movie anyone who ever got lumped into the category has ever made — and I love a lot of those films. So what's in it? A film broken up into two halves, where the first is another road trip, intermittently so, and which provides the opportunity for one of the most cogent and powerful/breathtaking take-downs I've ever seen on screen, via Kentucker, having to do with annual-income and frustration and general annoyance at a certain disposition or confrontation, — and which also provides the opportunity for an articulation, via Jake Rabinbach, of love and the way people operating in relationships actually operate, while he's steering the vehicle. (cont'd below)
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The first half of the picture is exciting exactly because it's kind of meandering, and sort of a knowing (and slippery) retread of "established" templates (road trip, certain ways of cuts looking and talking), etc., interspersed with the electrifying moments, the beautiful images, snow at last. The second half: — I said this once before about the first Open Five film, but: this movie is another record, in every sense: there is a 'Side 2' here definitely, and there's a flip-point where the movie doubles-down. A new rhythm comes on around the 40- or 45-minute mark after Kentucker returns to Memphis, gets back in the vicinity of Caroline (Caroline White, also in Karpovsky's Red Flag); they make a go of reconnecting after some fraught recent times.
I won't say much from this stretch of the movie, beyond the fact that in the overwhelming climax of the film White and Audley, together, make the case by admission that whatever the future might hold, at least here, there in the scene, there is love, not movie-character love but the raw flay and exposure: — and here in a time when everything looks cheap and stupid and facile or abstract in most movies: finally something alive, something moving, a plea to try to live our lives better, — this, in one of the most beautiful-looking films of recent times, and I love it because the core surpasses its own (excellent) image/sound aesthetics. ( — ...that is, someone might for example make a film about "turning 40" and it's somehow never about 'turning 40' it's about 'performativity' or is somehow ultimately a subtext because that somehow trumps the subject 'in critical aesthetics.') In an epoch when I hate when movie reviewers or their staff-editors often repurpose a past-/pop-culturally-relevant movie title, or quibble on the thing, for their headline, — in this instance it would certainly occasion — and without much Godfather: Part III operatics — "ONE FROM THE HEART."