The Mountain

Distributors are smart to emphasize the presence of Jeff Goldblum in The Mountain. In this somber, 1950s-set drama—the fifth feature from Spokane-born director Rick Alverson—Goldblum plays a lobotomist struggling to keep his career going as the procedure falls out of favor. While The Mountain possesses an oppressive elegance, there's little to appeal to a mainstream audience apart from his performance as a very ordinary ghoul: a dyspeptic, soft-spoken intellectual whose rumpled charm dissolves virtually every night into drunken lust and self-pity. The Mountain follows Andy (Tye Sheridan), a practically inert young man who agrees to accompany Fiennes, his mother's disgraced former doctor, on a road trip to different mental institutions. It's no accident that the film pits dynamic, internationally respected character actors against a static protagonist. But it's is so keen on flouting the narrative expectations of an active hero that, once Goldblum leaves the picture, it results in a dead-end atmosphere.

by Joule Zelman
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Rick Alverson
Jeff Goldblum, Denis Lavant, Tye Sheridan