|Director||Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie|
|Starring||Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh|
|Release||17 NOV (UK) Certificate 18|
From the robbery onwards, the pace never lets up. Almost every shot is in extreme close-up, adding to the sense of claustrophobia and the manic obsessive drive of Connie. As the stakes get progressively higher, the direction gets more migraine inducing, with more hand-held camerawork and darkly beautiful scenes that drive deep into your skull and stay there. Meanwhile, an impressive electronic score underlines the direction and cinematography and will definitely jostle for position alongside The Guest and Drive in your LP collection.
Overall, the Safdie’s approach to directing will inevitably draw comparisons to the likes of Scorsese and Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, but there’s great skill and talent here that will surely launch the duo on to bigger things to make a name in their own right.
Although the film is breathlessly paced, it slows down at the right times to allow for characterisation. Pattinson inhabits Connie almost completely, managing to be both charismatic and sleazy. He’s a smart guy but gives no thought as to what’s going to happen next, his reckless nature leading to a superb twist in the second act. Newcomers Buddy Duress and Taliah Webster also put in realistic performances as a fellow crim and innocent young girl who become absorbed into Connie’s dubious odyssey.
The only let down is the criminal underuse of Jennifer Jason Leigh as Connie’s put upon girlfriend Corey who brings an unexpected amount of comic relief, but even a deliberately flat ending escapes criticism, highlighting the brutal naturalism of the piece. The Safdies are following the old adage of always leave them wanting more, which is exactly what you want after a Good Time.