Gus Van Sant goes into full art mode with what may be the best film of the year. An open, spacious and haunting take on the Columbine killings, Elephant refuses to pass judgment, leaving that up to the audience. Courageous in its refusal to simplify or explain the motivations of the killers, the film is also beautiful and so technically adept that you’ll be swept away in the artistry until you’re horrified by the killings. Impeccable and naturalistic performances and a dearth of edits give the film a voyeuristic quality that makes the end all the more disturbing. If you’re interested in the future of film, you shouldn't miss this piece, as it points to style and temperament that are quiet, effective and yet groundbreaking.


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