BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE – Written and Directed by Drew Goddard
I’m honestly still disappointed that this wonderful piece of art was overlooked during awards season. Certainly one of the most original films of 2018 – and of the decade, for that matter.
A Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination would have been justifiable, as well as a Best Supporting Actor nod for Jeff Bridges’ spectacular effort. And wow, talk about a break-out performance from the marvelous Cynthia Erivo, who has quite the future ahead of her!
The production design (Martin Whist), art direction (Michael Diner and
Lisa Van Velden), cinematography (Seamus McGarvey), and the visual language as a whole are all strikingly phenomenal. Each frame has a unique, pleasing aesthetic quality that is difficult to articulate, but easy to appreciate.
“Bad Times” might become a little bit too wrapped up in its own ingenuity at various points over the course of the 140 minute runtime, but by the time all is said and done, you will be eager for another stay at the El Royale.
If you are not quite sold yet, just think Coen Brothers quirks and dramedy, Tarantino-influenced narrative structure and dialogue, Scorsese-inspired mob drama plot devices, and Hitchcockian flourishes of bushwhackery and bombshells, all coming together for a bizarre, yet hearty and robust filmmaking concoction.