The magic of Victoria (and it's not because it's one-shot).
I have just finished watching Victoria and I have no words. It seems trivial to break it down into what made it so good. It’s as if magic dust was sprinkled on it somewhere during production, or post-production, or shot listing, or casting, or (to be continued.)
It made you befriend the characters without realising that you were, which are the signs of a very clever script. I started as a viewer who didn’t particularly like any character, yet I ended up feeling their absolute ups as well as downs. The use of music not only added to moments of beauty and euphoria within the piece (her playing the piano and them rejoicing in the club to name two), but the reveal of Victoria’s past as a pianist revealed everything we needed to know about her character. *SPOILER ALERT* When Sonne dies on the bed and her face is captured beautifully in the frame, the one coherent thought that ran through my head was that she was the loneliest girl in the world. Failing that there were no other coherent thoughts during that penultimate scene. It all just made sense. I totally got it. I got what she was feeling, I felt the sheer magnitude of the situation and equally I actually recognised the brilliantly crafted dance between Victoria and the camera during that piece.
The acting was incredibly naturalistic, and the story so perfectly timed. Moments where the audience were kept with Victoria instead of the main action of the film (e.g. in her van during the heist) were hugely impacting and a great choice. Another example of good storytelling was how subtly forecasted the final reveal of Sonne’s injury was, from the apartment when they stole the baby onwards. Such a balanced and well timed script. Acted beautifully. With incredibly understated yet mesmerising camera work. Magic, magic, magic.