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Theatrical Origin (2023)

Jason_V

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Title: Origin (2023)

Genre: Drama

Director: Ava DuVernay

Cast: Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, Victoria Pedretti, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Isha Blaaker, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Connie Nielsen, Blair Underwood, Nick Offerman, Stephanie March, Myles Frost, Suraj Yengde Ph.D, Donna Mills, Michael "Spike" Topoozian, Cristin König, Franz Hartwig, Jakob von Eichel, Thai Douglas, Matthias Miller, Daniel Lommatzsch, Max Schimmelpfennig, Mieke Schymura, John Hans Tester, Leonardo Nam, Bryan Terry Shell, Ann-Sophie Heier, Ingo Hülsmann, Holger Handtke, Felix Goeser, Luis Lüps, Konstantin Lindhorst, David Bredin, Matthew Zuk, Hannah Pniewski, Jessica Fontaine, Steven Allen, Gigi Pereira, Will Baker, Wyatt Werneth, Monica Patankar, Zing Ashford, Akil Jackson, Malachi Malik, Gissette E. Valentin, Prakash Dhingra, Abhishek Arun Bhalerao, Shahid Khan, Jyotsana Siddharth, Ishaan Yadav, Dhrubo Jyoti, Snehalata Siddharth Tagde, Sarah Navratil, Tatiana Harman, Abigail London, Danielle Burr, Raphael Allan, Lennox Simms, Allan Jones, Emerson Smith, Avery Gibson, Allan Wilayto, Bryan McClure, Keller Fornes

Release: 2023-12-08

Runtime: 135

Plot: While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, writer Isabel Wilkerson sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery.

Weighty and uncomfortable, Origin isn't a movie I'd recommend to most people. It's not that I wasn't engrossed in it-I was-but different people will have a different tolerance for this kind of subject matter. I went to see this as a "mystery movie" at AMC in a mixed demographic crowd. A couple who were seated before I walked in left about an hour in; a couple who walked in ten minutes after the movie started walked out a few minutes after they sat down.

Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor carries the entire movie on her own, with an assist from the supporting cast. But we need to be on her side, understand her mind, see things from her point of view to wrap our arms around the story completely. And even at that, this is a movie that almost demands "homework" by reading the book it's based on or understanding more of the historical information if lays out.

If someone said their criticism of the film is it's preachy, I wouldn't disagree. It is. It has a point it wants to make and the script lays out each point along the way. The story deviates and goes veers into a subplot here and there and those could be removed...but I'd actually prefer a longer cut of Origin. Not so I could get more of the subplots, but because the real world history is so riveting (and depressing).

Not recommended for every audience, but if this kind of material is up your alley, pack your tissues.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

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