Cinema Review: Anesthesia | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020  


Studio: IFC Films
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson

Jan 07, 2016 Web Exclusive
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Like an East Coast Crash (2004) with better acting and a higher IQ, Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia follows several prototypical New York types through their daily lives until a random act of violence connects the threads to point out just how interconnected we all are.

Despite being packed with a strong ensemble cast—including Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, and Kristen Stewart—playing likable, familiar (if slightly stereotypical) characters, the film suffers from a certain overly-intellectual preachiness. Be it the sixth grader scolding her mother for drinking too much, the high schooler about to lose his virginity, a grad student in the midst of an existential crisis, a desperate crack addict, or the tenured philosophy professor, every character is irritatingly prone to pretentious philosophical monologues, so rambling and full of obscure literary references taken out of context that they lose their potency. This wordiness would be forgiven if the film were to at least posses a sense of humor or a semblance of fun. Instead Anesthesia takes itself overly seriously. For a film so dead-set on revealing its intellectual prowess and intellectual depth, the final message is frustratingly sophomoric.

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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