‘Pearl’ Is a Masterful Performance Wrapped in a Mediocre Movie

A24

Toward the end of Ti West’s World War I-era X prequel, Pearl, Mia Goth sobs her way through a five-minute monologue designed, more than anything, to blow audiences’ faces off. There are some seriously disturbing confessions, there are tears and snot, and there is catharsis—at least, for Goth’s menacing character. For the horrified person on the other side of the table, not so much.

Goth’s drawn-out monologue crystallizes just how deluded Pearl’s titular villain really is—a climax that should be haunting and hilarious all at once. All of the ingredients are there; Goth’s delivery is compelling and frantic, and the camera fixes on her face with impressive intensity. And yet, something is missing—a sense of urgency, or substance, or both. The speech, like the film that contains it, starts to drag at a certain point. There’s a mustiness to it.

We first met Pearl, the murderous lady of the hour, earlier this year in Xa slasher set during the ’70s grindhouse boom and modeled after the genre classics of the day. In that film, an elderly Pearl and her husband, Howard, terrorize a group of young would-be adult film stars who’ve rented their barn to shoot a porno. Pearl, premiering Friday, introduces the character as a young woman in 1918. Goth, who starred as both Pearl and the final girl Maxine in X, returns not only as Pearl, but also, this time, behind the camera as a screenwriter.

Read more at The Daily Beast.


Source: The Daily Beast

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