Talk Film Society - Seal of Approval: Mandy
The Talk Film Society - Seal of Approval is awarded to those films the staff here deem worthy of your attention.
This week, we recommend the new film by Beyond the Black Rainbow director Panos Cosmatos, Mandy starring Nicolas Cage. This psychedelic revenge tale had a theatrical run and a VOD release just a few months ago, but we wanted to make sure this didn’t slip past you. I mean, how could it? It features a truly bonkers Nicolas Cage performance, awe-inspiring visuals, and the Cheddar Goblin for god’s sake. Needless to say, this goes beyond any meme you’re likely to see with any other Cage movie, truly becoming one of the most unique and best films of the year.
Here’s what our writers have to say:
“[Panos] Cosmatos runs the celluloid almost to the point of no return, like a gap ongoing forever and ever with no catharsis, and then splatters the final reel with an invigorating bucket of blood and release. What occurs isn’t simply beyond traditional spoilers – it’s a sustained grand guignol that spits gasoline in the face of anyone dismissing the film as yet another toothless, formless ‘80s homage.” - William Mai, from his review.
"A film both unhinged and precise, like a romantic fever dream slowly unraveling into a nightmare of vengeance and fury. Nicolas Cage's version of John Wick brought to you by the mystical time of 1983 and a final score by Jóhann Jóhannsson's for the ages." - Diego Crespo
“Panos Cosmatos' droning psychedelia feels as though its fully bloomed in his latest — part revenge tale, part Nicolas Cage-performance-driven vehicle. It's gorgeous and grotesque, and despite pulling from the cult-craze films of the ‘70s and Raimi's masterful blending of horror and comedy in his Evil Dead trilogy, Mandy is something all its own.” - Aaron Hendrix
“Mandy is the perfect follow up to Beyond the Black Rainbow. If Beyond... was a film inaccessible to the ‘regular joe’ then Mandy is an impregnable fortress with LSD-fueled knights surrounding the moat. Mandy at its core is a simple revenge story, but the language it speaks feels very alien. Worth it for visuals alone, Mandy feels like you’ve been up for days on chemicals only to be forced into a marathon at gunpoint.” - Rockie Juarez
“A glorious trip through Hell with no safe way back. I’ve never taken acid, but Mandy, for me, replicates the ball-tripping journey I’d be in for if I ever did. Add to that a Cage performance that stands as one of his all-time best. All hail the Cheddar Goblin.” - Marcelo Pico
“‘Nicolas Cage forges a massive axe to exact vengeance on a demonic Manson-esque cult.’ If that’s not a logline that gets you excited, I’m not sure what will. Mandy is two acid-fueled movies smashed together that manages not only to work but has serious emotional weight. Cage has rarely been better; Panos Cosmatos and co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn’s wild vision must be witnessed to be believed.” - Sam Van Haren
“Mandy is a tour-de-force in apocalyptic insanity featuring one of Nicolas Cage’s best performances. Cage versus Cenobites by way of the Manson Family; it’s one of the most gruesome love stories to come along in ages.” - Matt Curione
“I can guarantee you one thing, you will not see another movie like Mandy this year. It is romantic, action-packed, and literally a visual trip. Cage is at his cagiest in the best of all possible ways and when the action picks up in the second half, YOU ARE NOT READY. Mandy demands your attention. You should watch it immediately and on the biggest screen you can manage.” - David Hart