By Adam Ray Palmer
Relatively new to the film world with his fifth feature, writer/director Rick Alverson brings the Venice Film Festival his latest flick The Mountain.
The Mountain stars now two-time Alverson collaborator Tye Sheridan and movie veteran Jeff Goldblum as the leading duo.
The Mountain follows the story of a young man named Andy (Sheridan) who, after losing his mother, goes to work with Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Goldblum) who specialises in lobotomies and therapies.
I’m going to get straight to it with this one, I’m a big fan of Goldblum and Sheridan, but this just didn’t work for me. Goldblum seemed a diluted version of his overly self-confident nature, which is a trait I adore in him when watching interviews. Sheridan isn’t given the dedicated screen time to get the best out of him either. He just seems to be always on the periphery even though he is pivotal.
Dialogue is scarce here; the characters’ chemistry and expressions are needed to carry this movie through – and it doesn’t for me. I most struggle with what The Mountain wants to be, or what it wants the audiences to take away at least. A lot of people on the Lido thought it would be a controversial piece with a few thought-provoking scenes, or maybe a bit more of a twisted love story than there actually is (by this I literally mean some hisses from the seats). But all in all, it just feels a bit meek and mild – when you actually want some gritty substance.
One saving grace was the addled performance by Denis Lavant as Jack, Susan’s (Hannah Gross) father figure. He has a couple of outlandish sequences that leave the audience repulsed and/or amused. Again, another metaphor to where this film struggles to fit.
Rick Alverson (director) has a lot better in his locker, and this is an effort that can be pushed to the back I think. There’s certainly talent in this film, but they’re just not utilised effectively from a damp script.
Cineroom’s Rating: 2.5 stars
The Mountain is yet to find a distributor for the UK – certificate 12A