Say what you will about Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart’s performances in Twilight because let’s be honest—they were naive actors with rubbish material. But in the years following their introduction into Hollywood via the often-inescapable Young Adult genre have proven superbly surprising. Stewart has made a name for herself in the indie realm, and now it appears that Pattinson has as well.
Almost as if they were Scorsese’s great nephews, Josh and Ben Safdie have quickly made their names known with a gritty, crime-driven tale taking place on the streets of New York. Beautiful, tense, and heartbreaking, Good Time is one of the best movies you can see all year.
After a bank robbery goes wrong, Connie (Pattinson) must raise $10,000 to bail out his brother Nick (Ben Safdie) who is mentally handicapped and being held on Rikers Island. This sends him on a nighttime odyssey through neon lights and grim realities to rescue his brother he got into trouble.
We don’t really know why they robbed the bank—whether for a good or nefarious reason—nor do we really have much to go off of in determining the moral character of Connie. Pattinson proves he can craft a distinctly complex character with outstanding confidence. One where we don’t know the motives of him committing a crime, but one we can still find some reason to root for, even if it’s just to get his brother out of trouble—especially when he more or less doesn’t know any better.
On his journey, Connie meets a myriad of characters (all great performances from Taliah Webster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Buddy Duress) that join in on his almost “holy grail” like quest. Through a series of brilliantly delivered twists, Connie flies recklessly into the dark of the night in with as unpredictable performance as it is story. This is some riveting stuff.
By its own merits, Good Time is a must-see. But for someone who has chided Pattinson relentlessly for the past decade, this (along with Lost City of Z) I must admit this movie is a completely game-changing performance for the actor who has even more solid roles lined up, and therefore makes it even more unforgettable.
Three people and two names: Safdie and Pattinson. You’ll be hearing their names a lot this year.