It brings me no pleasure to report to you, my dear readers, that James Ponsoldt‘s new film stinks. It stinks less than his last film*, but given that Summering takes Ponsoldt back to his roots (thereabouts) as far as focusing on young characters struggling through one stage of adolescence or another, it shouldn’t stink as much as it does.
I like Ponsoldt. I do! I like his first 4 films. I think he had promise as a director until The End of the Tour‘s postscript; I’m not sure what happened to him between that and The Circle, but it wasn’t good. I still think he has promise. Summering whiffs of it. But the film can’t hold a single thought in its head for long enough to make an impression, and the leaps between genre help its cause not at all.
You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.
*The Circle should have been a slam dunk adaptation for a director with a fundamental sense of speculative science fiction’s role in cultural criticism, but Ponsoldt was not that director.