There’s plenty to be concerned about when it comes to the 2019 Academy Awards. (For example, the recently announced “popular film” category.) That being said, I am personally still reeling from last season’s Oscar snub of Good Time.
You may not have heard of the gritty A24 crime drama, and that’s not really surprising. The film’s limited theatrical release and underwhelming box office left it swinging in the abyss of terrific but underseen indies.
Those who did see it, however, gave favorable reviews – it’s rocking a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes – and the festival circuit recognized the film with a Palme d’Or nomination.
Clearly, Good Time is good. But what makes this drama great enough to label it Oscar-worthy? The Safdie brothers’ heist story is, in short, a meticulous slow-burn character study that will chew you up and spit you out in all the right ways. And Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Connie is the cherry on top.
Pattinson’s portrayal is eclectic, terrifying, and a long way from Twilight.
Good Time chronicles the aftermath of a robbery gone wrong. Connie and his developmentally disabled brother Nick (portrayed by co-director Benny Safdie) attempt to steal from a New York City bank. As the two flee the scene of the crime with $65,000 in hand, a dye pack explodes and Nick is caught orange-handed.
Knowing how poorly his brother will fare in prison, Connie spends the rest of the film fighting to pay Nick’s bail and escape his own capture. What presents itself at first as a heartwarming story of brotherly love quickly devolves into a chaotic fever dream. Pattinson’s portrayal is eclectic, terrifying, and a long way from Twilight. Supporting performances by young actress Taliah Webster and Safdie brothers’ favorite Buddy Duress are similarly triumphant.
The Safdie brothers package this rollercoaster narrative in a moody style akin to 2017 Best Picture Winner Moonlight. The electronic soundtrack created by artist Oneohtrix Point Never (featuring a collaboration with Iggy Pop) fleshes out a multidimensional universe that threatens to swallow its viewers and characters whole.
Need more convincing? Pete Davidson (yes, of Peteiana) recently used his promotional time for Set It Up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to fervently voice his support for Good Time. With Robbert Pattinson by his side as a co-guest, Davidson presented a Good Time clip and called the film “one of the best movies ever made.”
(Plus, Pete’s newly blonde hair has got him looking more like Pattinson’s character than ever before. Probably just a coincidence, but who knows? Pete really loves this movie.)
Oscar buzz is already swirling around A24’s summer hits Hereditary and Eighth Grade—but no amount of studio recognition can make up for this snub. Let’s hope that Pattinson and the Safdie brothers get their recognition some day. I’m just hoping they don’t have to do it in DiCaprio years.
Good Time is available to stream on Amazon Prime.