You Were Never Really Here

"You Were Never Really Here amounts to more than a Taxi Driver for our time. Despite the obvious homage, this is a Ramsay film, rooted in the Glaswegian auteur's feverish, kaleidoscope style." - Chicago Reader

“In Lynne Ramsay’s fragmentary, ferociously beautiful You Were Never Really Here, Joaquin Phoenix takes a scary new shape—a bulkiness every bit as psychologically revealing as the bony odd angles of Freddie Quell. Phoenix plays Joe, a muscle for hire. The character and story come from a novella by Jonathan Ames. Ramsay, the Scottish director who made Morvern Callar and We Need To Talk About Kevin, twists that source material into an existential nightmare noir.

“The film unfolds in a spookily subjective haze, through unexplained and sometimes near-subliminal flashes of flashback, like trauma bubbling to the surface of Joe’s consciousness. You Were Never Really Here is telling a story, a grim little corker about a teenage girl forced into a sex ring and the bull of an enforcer who comes to break her loose, but it plays out in whispers and glances, as Phoenix’s damaged mercenary barrels into conflict, barely keeping his grasp on his own sanity, let alone the specifics of this case. The film is admirably resistant to explaining itself; it counts on you to make connections with its submerged backstory, to sketch out Joe’s warped history in your own head.” - AV Club


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