Booksmart (Discussion & Review)

The best film of 2019, and it probably won’t be nominated for a single thing.



I’ll say it now, Booksmart is the best film of 2019. Without question. It also may end up being the best film to come out this entire season. It also won’t get a single Oscar nomination.

Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever

Beanie Feldstein & Kaitlyn Dever

So why is that?

Is it because big blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame are in theaters?

Is it because people aren’t willing to spend the money?

Is it because they don’t have superstars throughout the ensemble?

Is it because people don’t want to go to the movies?

Is it because the Annapurna team didn’t market it appropriately?

Is it important for these films to be watched, talked about & rewarded?

Booksmart follows two teens, Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), who have gone through their high school years much like a Ravenclaw would. They spend their time studying, and have zero interaction with their fellow classmates. They’re governed by logic. This all sounds good, until they quickly realize that most of the people they’ve been making fun of for partying, are actually quite bright themselves! Some are even attending better schools than they are! So what is the best course of action? Well, in their panic, they decide to attempt the impossible, and cram four years of partying into one night! So here is our plot, and here is where chaos ensues, in the best way possible.

Here’s what I do know about Booksmart

• You know a screenplay is incredible when you can relate to it. I am obviously a superhero movie fanatic, but unfortunately, I can’t fly nor do I have super strength. So I can’t ALWAYS relate to Superman. But if the screenplay is well written (Logan & The Dark Knight), it is able to relate to an audience, no matter what. And that’s why this screenplay was so perfect. You could relate to it. No matter who you are. No matter where you grew up. You know what it feels like to be a teenager. You know what it feels like to long, to want something or someone so bad, that it actually makes you sick. And this is perfectly executed by Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein.

Billie Lourde & Kaitlyn Dever

Billie Lourde & Kaitlyn Dever

• Kaitlyn Dever gave the most honest and brutal performance of 2019. I’d even put her in the top 10 of the decade. As #FilmTwitter likes to call it, I am 100% a Kaitlyn Dever “stan”. If I had the option, she’d be at the top of my ballot on Oscar Sunday.

• This was Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, and it’s her best work yet. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a wonderful actor, but similar to Bradley Cooper’s debut last year with A Star Is Born, Wilde has an unmistakable eye for this side of the camera.

• This film was directed and written by all women, and that needs to be known. I’m not trying to pander this, nor am I trying to slam males. What I’m trying to say is that cinema is in need of diversity.
Director: Olivia Wilde
Writers: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel & Katie Silberman

Skyler Gisondo (Jared) is a national treasure, and he and his character should be treated as such. Thank you very much.

• Can we finally have an Oscar for Casting? Cause Allison Jones should’ve received one for Lady Bird, and now she should get one for this. This is a perfect cast. Every single supporting character is just as important and memorable as our leads.

• Speaking of supporting characters, Billie Lourd (Gigi) is an absolute genius. She is proving to be my favorite of the three generations of the Reynolds women…
- Mother: Carrie Fisher, who is best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise saga.
- Grandmother: Debbie Reynolds, perhaps best known for breakout role as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain.
Hopefully one day we can say, “Carrie Fisher, mother of Billie Lourd”.

Long story short…
Booksmart is still playing in some theaters. If you’re able to go, I implore you to do so.
If not, it should be released on Blu-Ray, Amazon Prime Video & iTunes in August.

I recommend this film to anyone who has ever been a teenager, so I believe that that is a majority of the readers.
Please enjoy the best film of 2019, and let me know what you think!

Be sure to check out my updated Oscar Prediction Center, now updated after seeing BOOKSMART

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Max JosephComment