"Tape" is not the best film of the year (in fact, it's not even director Richard Linklater's best film of the year), but it's a strong and intriguing movie experience all the same. Just three characters, one hotel room and a whole boiling pot of backstory. One could almost imagine Linklater, Hawke, Leonard (hey, isn't that Ethan Hawke's roommate 10 years ago in Dead Poet's Society?), and Thurman hanging out with a cool stage play and a DV camera and shooting the whole thing in one night. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing discardable or amateur about this film. But watch how the play, a simple story of old friends confronting old wounds, is transformed by the camera. The story is told in real time in a cramped room, but Linklater's over-cutting almost seems to extend time and space, creating a fully-realized world outside the hotel room walls without ever taking the camera outside. The performances are dead-on and suspense builds right under your nose. Rich and engaging.
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Three old high school friends meet in a Michigan motel room to dissect painful memories from their past.
October 27, 2020