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PFF31 Review: White Noise

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WHITE NOISE (2022) (PFF31)

Bafflingly dull and impressively inarticulate, White Noise is a jumbled mess of ideas and genres that acts like it is trying to convey a message, but you’d need to sift through a bunch of junk to find it.

Based on the 1985 book from Dan DeLillo, which has often been called “unfilmable,” White Noise follows a family dealing with everyday issues in the midst of a potentially apocalyptic event. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig are exceptional, even as the material they are given to work with is uninteresting and slowly explored. At no time was I drawn to any of the characters, my empathy left unmoved throughout the film. It’s almost as if the cast didn’t even know what they were supposed to be communicating through their performances, which hop from humor to drama to lunacy in every scene. 

There are tired parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic that are lazily included, referenced and then left there without much development. While the film is visually appealing, it does little to amplify whatever message it is trying to communicate. White Noise is an overcomplicated practice of cinematic chaos, leaving the audience to ponder not what the film’s message was intended to be, but instead what a confusing collection of misfirings the final product ends up being. Valiant effort, Noah Baumbach, but White Noise lands quietly in the forgettable 2022 film pile.

White Noise hits limited theaters on November 25th before heading to Netflix on December 30th.

Rating: 1/5

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