My Cultural Diet

332 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info here). Ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links.

4 out of 5 stars


My oldest is going through a Christopher Nolan phase, so naturally we watched Tenet, which might be my favorite Nolan film. There’s no doubt that Nolan’s films aim for the cerebral (which garners them all sorts of snark and criticism), and with its convoluted plot filled with “temporal pincer movements” and discussions of free will and temporal paradoxes, Tenet might be his most cerebrally oriented film to date. But it contains some surprisingly human moments as well, be it the burgeoning friendship between John David Washington’s Protagonist and Robert Pattinson’s charming Neil (which is explored in a thoughtful article by my friend Alisa), or the Protagonist’s concern for a beleaguered woman. Plus, its convoluted plot means that I notice new details with each new viewing, which helps to flesh out the movie even more. I’m still not sure how well Tenet holds together logically (even after reading super-nerdy timeline breakdowns), but the characters’ actions and reactions sell it for me, and its relentless pace means I’m never not engaged. (And call me a fanboy, but I trust in Nolan’s meticulous attention to detail.) In the end, I guess I’m just a sucker for espionage-y stories about people who suddenly find themselves in a “twilight world” fighting a secret war unseen by the rest of the world.

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