White Noise - Review (London Film Festival 2022)
Marching Towards Non-Existence. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Noah Baumbach.
Jack Gladney is torn asunder by a chemical spill from a rail car that releases an “Airborne Toxic Event”, forcing Jack to confront his biggest fear – his own mortality.
Releases worldwide on Netflix: December 30th 2022
Marriage Story blew me away so I was eagerly anticipating anything that Noah Baumbach had in store next. Taking a very unexpected left turn, White Noise is unlike anything he's made so far. It's ambitious and peculiar but bites off more than it can chew as it lacks the emotional punch that it was aiming for.
There is a sense of impending doom shrouding the entire film. The fear of the unknown where the rules and goalposts are moving seemingly every second is a feeling that we know all too well after the past few years, but Baumbach holds on to that feeling reminding audiences that there is solidarity in that fear.
The bustling overlapping family life of the Gladney's is the driving force of the film with Adam Driver giving a commanding lead performance. Though I'll admit, whether it be through my early morning coffee-fuelled eyes or the fact I just may not be bright enough to comprehend all the themes Baumbach was going for, it was great that there were such engrossing supporting performances to hold on to - Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle were highlights.
Amongst the hysteria and the threat of an Airborne Toxic Event (great band name), I enjoyed the ride that White Noise takes you on even if it's messier than Baumbach's other work.
All that aside, I am happy to announce that the end credit sequence was a radiant and hypnotic surprise that challenges the end of Fantastic Mr. Fox to best supermarket-themed vibes.