Sam Levinson’s Malcolm & Marie is an intense overnighter.
The long stretches of dialogue spread out over about 3 hours during one California night in a big empty home after the premiere of Malcolm’s latest cinematic tour de force, can be overwhelming, is sometimes too clever for its own good and is often as emotionally draining as it feels, but Zendaya and John David Washington pull off some low key Oscar worthy performances as the title characters working through some heavy emotional baggage.
The choice to use Black & White is exactly that, and could easily be interpreted as the right one considering our intimately intrusive inclusion in this one particular night of emotional back and forth altercations in what can be assumed a lengthy relationship between the title characters. In this case, imagining the use of color just feels wrong.
I really didn’t think I would like Malcolm & Marie and it’s evident that a lot of people hate this movie. I hear pretentious often used to describe it in one word and I get it. But the california mis en scene ropes me in and then it’s such a penetrating story that despite the exhausting circumstances this one extremely long feeling night revolves around, I couldn’t help but thoroughly enjoy the movie.