Abrams also put to rest any notion that there was any discord between him and The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson. “It would be a much more interesting answer if there were conflict,” Abrams said. “The truth is when I was getting [The Force Awakens] up and running, I was nothing but grateful that a director and writer I admire as much as Rian was coming in to do [the next one.] Not expecting to come back to this, it was just fun to watch what was happening and get to respond to it.
The movie feels disjointed and made up of parts that Dolan couldn’t bring together as it shuffles between three story strands. Moments such as Portman and Tremblay as mother and son reuniting in the rain to Florence and the Machine’s version of “Stand By Me” capture the expressive emotional maximalism of Dolan’s best work, but the sequences with Harington in particular often feel listless and lifeless.
The movie itself seems like an expression of some kind of growing pains, even as the young director confidently works with big-name actors. The prolific Dolan has already unveiled another movie since “John F. Donovan” premiered in the fall of 2018, so this relative stumble can perhaps be filed away as a transitional curio.