Black Bear (2020)

3.3 of 5 from 63 ratings
1h 44min
Not released
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At a remote lake house, a filmmaker named Allison (Aubrey Plaza) arrives to play house guest to a troubled couple (Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon), who have eschewed their life in the city after inheriting a family retreat. Battling writer’s block, Allison sparks a calculated game of desire and jealousy in pursuit of a new work that blurs the boundaries of autobiography and invention. 'Black Bear' explores the complex nature of relationships, gender dynamics, and the erratic nature of love as it traces the conflict between our lust and our longing for internal harmony.
, , , , , , Lou Gonzalez, , , , Kevin Barker, Mary Borrello, , Haitao Zeng
Release Date:
Not released
Run Time:
104 minutes

Reviews (2) of Black Bear

Weird Drama - Black Bear review by GI

Spoiler Alert

A comedy drama that really shows the talents of Aubrey Plaza who is intense and mesmerising here as Allison, a filmmaker who goes to stay with a bickering couple at a lakeside retreat in the hope of some inspiration for her next script. The three part relationship drama builds into something quite intriguing and with suspense as the couple, Gabe and Blair (Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon) are at each others throats and Blair thinks Gabe is flirting with Allison. Indeed things build to a confrontation and possible tragedy but then suddenly the film switches to a completely different storyline. The second act of the film has the same location but now a film is being shot at the house and Gabe is the director with Allison, his wife, as the main star and Blair as a support actor. Gabe and Blair hatch a plan to get Allison jealous to fire up her performance but this backfires in an dramatic way. As a depiction of indie filmmaking and the emotions of so called artists this is also an interesting watch but what I didn't get is the juxtaposition of the two acts. It seems that Act 1 is abandoned just as its reaching its peak and we miss out on a really good suspense drama. Certainly I enjoyed the first half more than the second. Plaza is excellent throughout, her powerful performance is superb. It's the structure of the film I found unfulfilling.

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Gripping tale of sexual politics and tyrannical directors - Black Bear review by PD

Spoiler Alert

This very watchable, clever piece trundles along in a fairly predictable fashion until a great twist transports us into what director Lawrence Michael Levine wants us to grapple with. The film-within-a-film genre needs careful handling, and here there's perhaps a lot over overcooked melodrama and under-developed ideas, but it's still compelling viewing, being both a serious portrayal of sexual politics and a provocative send-up of tyrannical directors, diva-ish actors and over-invested voyeurs, with a wonderfully gripping performance from start to finish from Aubrey Plaza.

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