Do not eat while watching this…

“Fresh” is an admittedly hard one to write about, as most of the punch this film has to offer lies in the unknown. I will try my best to keep things vague, but that might prove challenging. Premiering in the Midnight Section of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Fresh” tells the story of Noa. A young woman who attempts to navigate the ever confusing world of modern dating. When her efforts seem fraught and all hope is lost, Noa happens to meet Steve, a charming stranger at the grocery store. I will leave my synopsis at that, as one should go in knowing as little as possible. “Fresh” is a strikingly unique and disturbing vision from first-time filmmaker Mimi Cave. It is a masterfully executed thriller with a surprising amount of humor, imagery I won’t soon forget, and two stellar performances from Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan.

Mimi Cave directs “Fresh” with ferocious energy, crafting a film that you want to turn away from but can’t take your eyes off of. This is one of the most watchable films I’ve seen in some time and while that’s an odd statement, it rings true. This is due to just how confidently presented this film is. The cinematography by Pawel Pogorzelski (who also shot “Midsommar” and “Hereditary”) is genuinely gorgeous, bolstering both a playful energy and a sinister undertone. Cave walks the tightest of tight ropes and somehow is able to make it all the way across. I’m sure they’ll be some discourse to be had about this one, but I can’t help but enjoy it. While we have seen similarly pulpy and gleefully trashy midnight movies, there’s never been one quite like this. Cave delivers a socially conscious satire and a wildly fun thriller. I would have killed to see this with an audience as I found myself screaming alone in my room at 3 am.

“Fresh” has an oddly hypnotic quality to it, and this is due in part to the fantastic performances from Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan. Jones does a fantastic job as the film’s lead, delivering a subdued and empathetic performance that immediately invests you. You grow to care for her so quickly, it’s almost a magic trick. I would love to see more from her and can’t wait to see what she does next. Sebastian Stan delivers what may be my favorite performance from the festival. A star is born in Sebastian Stan, and while that may seem silly to say about an Avenger, I can honestly say I never expected this from him. Stan delivers an incredibly ballsy performance and absolutely crushes it. He is charming, despicable, hilarious, and pathetic all in one swing. He is so good in this film that I NEED to see more from him. Please start giving this man the roles he deserves. He’s a gosh darn movie star and has moved HIGHLY up my list of favorite actors. He’s GOATed for this one folks, I have to say it.

It’s safe to say I loved “Fresh”. While others might argue how tasteful it is, I’d rather just rave about it. 4.5/5

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