The Mountain

Jeff Goldblum takes a break from being a living meme to provide a morbidly quirky turn as a doctor in The Mountain – acting pretty precious as a lobotomist trying to cash in as his controversial “cure” falls out of fashion in the 1950s. Dr. Fiennes isn’t such a bad guy, though. He even takes in a patient’s impoverished son to tour along with him as a personal photographer. Tye Sheridan plays Andy, whose job mainly consists of making Fiennes’ handiwork seem successful after people get a steel pick slammed into their brain. The big conceit is that Andy – along with almost all the normal folk that Fiennes meets during his travels – is just as broken and listless as Fiennes’ assorted victims. That leaves director Rick Alverson plenty of room to spice up the washed-out landscape with plenty of bizarre imagery. It’s the same trick that Alverson used in his acclaimed anti-laffers The Comedy and EntertainmentThe Mountain is too much of a drama to make that a trilogy, but it’s yet another impressive turn by Alverson as a creatively plodding filmmaker. He even resists the urge to let Goldblum run off with the show. The womanizing Fiennes gets dulled down himself, with another character getting set free to deliver the big speech on the artsy titular metaphor.