Once upon a time, after watching “The Circle” and the full-length “Jay and Silent Bob,” I had an intriguing idea for a film. It would focus on film critics who ruthlessly critique movies, only for the characters in those movies to emerge from the screen and enact their revenge. Although my idea remained a pipe dream, Dan Gilroy brought a similar concept to life with “Velvet Buzzsaw” on Netflix. In his version, art critics in California face demons crawling out of paintings rather than screens.
One might notice that the subplot in “Velvet Buzzsaw” is not very robust. However, the film’s casual demeanor more than makes up for it. Gilroy, a known art lover, purportedly jotted down the film’s premise after a gallery visit. Like many Netflix feature films, this one also adheres to a two-hour runtime, seemingly to avoid competition with ninety-minute TV shows.
Gilroy takes his time developing his characters: a noted critic, a money-driven gallery owner, an industrious assistant, a jaded artist, among others. The mystery may unfold slowly in the first half, but discerning viewers will grasp that the Los Angeles art elite are about to face some dreadful reckoning. When a mysterious art collection by an enigmatic, deceased artist surfaces, everyone realizes these are, quite literally, works of art to die for.
Gyllenhaal, in a particularly delightful role, also faces some moral challenges, setting the stage for an exciting showdown. While “Velvet Buzzsaw” may not offer surprising twists or in-depth commentary like Gilroy’s debut film “Nightcrawler,” it has its merits. The film encourages viewers familiar with its genre to sit back and relish the unfolding tale about cursed art. With top-notch acting and visuals, plus a setting that uses Los Angeles as more than a mere backdrop, the movie delivers a solid experience.
In summary, “Velvet Buzzsaw” is the kind of movie I’m delighted to discover on Netflix. It’s ambitious, well-crafted, and perfect for a “smaller canvas” and moments of relaxation. While the film may not be groundbreaking, it’s hard to find glaring flaws. In essence, Dan Gilroy handles his intriguing idea with the finesse of an experienced professional. The film may not make waves in the cinema, but it has the potential to garner a dedicated Netflix audience. It resonates with me personally, as I have a soft spot for these intimate portraits of everyday people in Los Angeles presented in an “of us, for us” style.
Watch Velvet Buzzsaw For Free On Gomovies.