I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things ★★½

Was gonna write a whole thing about What distinguishes Lynch’s work from Kaufman’s, but then I realized I got work to do so here’s my random scribblings (note: Charlie Kaufman is a genius. I’m evaluating this in comparison to his other work not, like, modern cinema in general, which he towers above):

-Far and away Kaufman’s weakest overall film (still haven’t seen Confessions), but another stunning showcase of his dialogue work.
-Really crippled in sections by a lack of formal dexterity (the car stuff), something which the movie seems to realize cause it ends with a series of successively less effective Big Formal Swings.
-Kaufman remains just about the only writer in any medium (that I’m aware of) who could be called any kind of successor to Harold Pinter. Although Albee is also an accurate (though less charitable) comparison.
-The whole thing felt kinda wheel-spinny and needy, which is very off-brand for Charlie (although I’ve heard that Antkind’s got some of that energy).
-Everyone is great, and man they are working with difficult material.
-The first Kaufman movie that feels dismissible. EXCEPT that I would love to rewatch to track the logic on stable vs. handheld, which seemed to me to be significant though I couldn’t really track how.
-Seriously, though, there is no better writer of dialogue in English right now. It’s like a magic trick, I don’t get how it works, but it does.
-Also, the feminism in this movie 100% feels like a dude adapting a book written by another dude.

I’m so glad this movie exists, but I really wish Kaufman would go back to working with great directors.