Jonathan

Studio: Well Go USA
Directed by Bill Oliver

Nov 27, 2018 Web Exclusive
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Bill Oliver's Jonathan is an ambitious feature debut that's bathed and basks in an eerie stillness and ambiguity. For the most part, the intrigue is evident and sustained throughout the entire duration of the movie with an assist from a dual performance by Ansel Elgort.

Elgort plays Jonathan, who works at an architecture firm and seems to be on the rise in his company. He is very quiet, never speaking much in a higher range or answering questions with a longer response than necessary. His life is built on the same daily routine, which ends with him speaking into a camcorder, detailing the events of his day, no matter how mundane they may be. The question we are left with is why is he doing this?

When he wakes up he plays a tape from a person who looks exactly like him but leads a much different lifestyle and carries a much different appearance. They communicate through recorded video and while we are clued into what might be going on, Oliver and co-writers Peter Nickowitz and Gregory Davis keeps things calm enough and unsure enough to continually draw us in. Suki Waterhouse and Patricia Clarkson are thrown into Jonathan's daily life and add to the overall uncertainty.

Jonathan works well as a big idea piece of screenwriting and careful execution but might not always seem like the most satisfying movie in the end. Elgort, doing some of his better work, sells the material but in the end Jonathan can't live up to the atmosphere it builds up along the way. It's one of those movies where the journey is much more interesting than the final destination.

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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