Black Bear

Published May 1, 2021

Black Bear

Film info

  • Title Black Bear
  • Director Lawrence Michael Levine
  • Year 2020
  • Run time 1hr 46m
  • Genres Drama, Comedy, Thriller
  • Tagline I've been lying since the second I got here

At a remote lake house, filmmaker Allison arrives as a house guest to a trouble couple, who have eschewed their life in the city. 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.

Live blog

2:57The music so far is pretty intense.
4:42“At least now I can eat cookies.”
9:43A lot of wood going on in this building.
14:40This is a couple that are not on the same page at all.
17:10“You never baked a potato?” I cook a lot but I am not good at baked potato, that wouldn’t be my base level judgement of cooking.
24:07She’s so rude to him! A “real” artist. Ouch.
26:39I love it when someone tries to insult someone but they’re just like, yep, true.
37:03She didn’t swim during the day, but drunk and high and at night, sure, why not.
42:45I admire her ability to lie without caring what anyone else thinks.
48:35Conversation via megaphone is impossible.
1:00:40How many spare shirts do they have?
1:04:33She flicks a lot of cigarettes around for a wooden house.
1:09:29All these people eating on set seems unusual to me.
1:15:31I do not understand how Nora has a job.
1:23:12This whole part two is making me so dizzy.
1:28:31Oh man, getting room tone is the worst.
1:33:22What is normal though?


Oh man, this film is something else. It’s in two distinct parts, both of which are absolutely incredible, but they don’t seem to fit together in any understandable way - like it’s trying to be too clever and falling down at the final hurdle?

Aubrey Plaza is out of this world, in fact all three of them work well together. The row they have in the middle of the first part is mesmirising in all sorts of ways. I found the second half harder to watch, in part because of Aubrey’s clear pain, but also because they took that shaky-cam thing just a step too far and I genuinely felt quite queasy towards the end of it.

It’s a frustrating one because both halves are brilliant and engrossing, while I was watching it, I was loving it. But it ends up being completely unsatisfactory and the more I think about it, the more annoying it is.

Rating: 2 / 5

← Previous Wild Mountain Thyme
Next → Forces of Nature