Song of the Day #3,757: ‘Medora and the Moonlight’ – Hold the Dark Soundtrack

This will go down as the year NetFlix jumped fully into the major motion picture game, releasing films by top-tier directors Alfonso Cuaron and the Coen Brothers. A Martin Scorsese film is due in early 2019.

A lesser-known but very promising talent, Jeremy Saulnier, has also released his latest film on the streaming network. Saulnier, whose Blue Ruin and Green Room were exhilarating, harrowing revenge thrillers, is back with Hold the Dark, a film that is dark and chilling both metaphorically and literally.

Based on William Giraldi’s novel, Hold the Dark follows nature writer Russell Core (Jeffrey Wright), who is summoned to a small Alaskan town by a mother (Riley Keough) who claims her son has been taken by wolves. She knows the boy can’t have survived but hopes Core can at least track down the body.

Complications ensue, including the return from Iraq of the boy’s soldier father, played with icy stoicism by Alexander Skarsgard.

Set in a frozen, unforgiving landscape where the sun sets at 3 p.m., Hold the Dark is as unsettling and unpredictable as its location. The film reminds me of last year’s terrific Wind River, though that movie is downright buoyant in comparison.

I realize this doesn’t read much like a recommendation, and I definitely don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s my least favorite of Saulnier’s films.

I’m glad I watched it, though, because his is a career worth following.

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,757: ‘Medora and the Moonlight’ – Hold the Dark Soundtrack

  1. Amy says:

    I don’t know where to begin with this post. Netflix has released an original film by the Coen brothers, and I’ve never heard of it? You didn’t include To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before among the films that put Netflix in the game this year? You’ve seen all three of this disturbed director’s films? Wow. Clearly I need to turn off season two of The Good Wife and check our Netflix, buf The Good Wife is irresistible. How about a week devoted to the political song videos they love to make couple with shots of Alan Cumming’s perfect expressions? I’ll help find and compile them?

    • Clay says:

      The Coen Brothers movie is due out later this year. It’s called The Battle of Buster Scruggs.
      I loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before but I see that as typical NetFlix fare in terms of the name recognition of the talent. Working with Cuaron, Scorses and the Coens is a new level.
      And I’m glad you finally jumped on The Good Wife train! Next, you should check out a little show called Breaking Bad. 😉

      • Dana Gallup says:

        The ship has long sailed on Breaking Bad, particularly for Amy. Good Wife is confection that is lighter in tone much like predecessor shows like LA Law. We thought this would be our adult show that we could watch while Daniel did homework, but he is more addicted than we are.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    Netflix is amazing! They have just released July 22 and although we haven’t watched it yet we will at some point even if it’s going to be a tough one. We saw Mudbound on Netflix! Will look for the ones just suggested. And if some relief is needed watch The Good Cop starring Josh Groban and Tony Danza just started 😊

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