I’ve never been much of a fan of Mia Goth up to this point.
Six years later and I’m still recovering from the trauma of having to sit through “A Cure For Wellness” which tried to provide style over substance and forgot both. A24 has always been a hit-or-miss studio for me despite the positive buzz I gave “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
There was an initial reluctance to watch “Pearl” However, considering the fact that 2022 hasn’t delivered a strong number of quality movies in American releases, I figured there wasn’t anything to lose on a good recommendation. I went with my gut was rewarded because ‘Pearl’ turns out to be one of the better films of the year.
‘Pearl’ is a prequel to a movie that was released earlier in the year starring Mia Goth called ‘X.’
In the origin story of a violent serial killer, Pearl (Goth) is the daughter of a German immigrant living in the United States during World War 1. Pearl suffers from a miserable life where she cares for her father is infirm and paralyzed, and her mother who is overbearing and strict.
Pearl begins longing for a more exciting life outside of her Texas farm and becomes captivated by the films she sees at the local cinema. Pearl is inspired to be a dancer in the hopes of earning a living that will get her off her family’s farm but her mother does not approve of her aspirations.
Pearl has a dark secret as she shows signs of being a disturbed individual from killing farm animals and physically abusing her father. Pearl becomes committed to a new life and won’t allow anyone to get in her way.
Pearl is a story about the dangers of obsessing over fame and the cost of attaining it. We have seen many young girls glamorize the idea of becoming a star and many will destroy their lives in an attempt to become famous at any cost, and the story of Pearl is no different.
Mia Goth is a standout in the movie with her twisted and sympathetic performance as a small-town girl who just wants to escape. Goth brings to life one of the best character studies of the year but gives a performance that is over the top in presentation but grounded in reality. Tandi Wright gives a great performance of Pearl’s mother who is a loving but stern mother who pushes her daughter too far off the edge by depriving her of a life outside the home.
Temptation is an ongoing theme throughout the film but you can’t look past the great style the film has which has been a staple in A24 Films for years.
Pearl is a film that may muddy the waters of an existing trilogy but as a standalone film, it is one of the films the US has released this year with a closing monologue that is worth the price of admission