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Puzzle (2018)

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This film is getting a couple of mentions in the Ecumenical Jury deliberations, so I wanted to go ahead and create a thread with a link to my review at The Porch


But Puzzle turns out to be one of those film gems that is both utterly conventional in its set up and yet fresh and unpredictable in its delivery. It does so in part by investing less time in the conventionally “dramatic” scenes — we get maybe a minute of the actual competition and are only told after-the-fact how it concluded–and more time in character building moments. Agnes sits on the stoop and talks to her elder son, bumming a cigarette that turns out to be her first. A blind man on a subway train sings “Ave Maria.” Agnes buys a train ticket on the train itself and learns the cost is different from buying it at the station. (Hmm, that’s thematically metaphoric too, isn’t it?) These scenes don’t materially advance the plot, but they give us insight into the characters so that when other, more traditionally dramatic things happen, we are invested in their outcome.


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