Waves is a poignant drama that perfectly captures the nature of grief and loss from several different perspectives. It's an indie film that was completely shut out of last year's Academy Awards, but it should've walked away with several wins. Easily one of the most intense dramas of last year, maybe of the decade, and a film that not a lot of people have seen or even heard of. With an amazing cast giving it their all and an unpredictable story, Waves is one you will never forget.
For half the film, we are following Tyler (Harrison Jr.), an 18-year-old senior on the wrestling team who has a series of life-changing events hit him all at once. He doesn't take it well and something happens that completely shatters his family. The second half of the film follows his younger sister Emily (Russell) as she struggles to come to terms with what happened, as well as her parents (Brown and Goldsberry) growing resentment towards one another. She finds solace in her new boyfriend Luke (Hedges), and helps him make peace with his dying father. You get lost in the engaging story and relatable characters, and there are times when you find yourself asking how you would fare in these situations.
Waves deserves so much more attention. Every actor in it gives 110% the entire time. You can feel the emotion in the pit of your stomach, and it will bring you to tears. I don't want to spoil it because what happens is quite a shock, but trust me when I say it's worth your time.
Waves is Trey’s third feature length film and definitely my favorite so far. All three films have been distributed by A24 and all three films are very different. Trey has said over and over again that this one is the most personal and it shows. Whether that be in his own life or someone he knows, it was made with a tremendous amount of attention to detail.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays a high school senior named Tyler and Taylor Russell plays his younger and quiet sister, Emily. They live in the suburbs of Miami with their very serious parents, Ronald and Catherine played by Sterling K. Brown and Renée Elise Goldsberry. At first glance they seem like a well run unit, but then we wouldn’t have a film, right? Actions are taken that come with real life consequences and the word family is tested to the highest degree.
Every actor seemed to be all in with this one, making it very difficult to choose a stand out. Lucas Hedges and Alexa Demie play our main characters' partners and they both continue to blow me away. Sterling K. is damn near perfect as usual and I really enjoyed the work Goldsberry put in. She’s definitely on my radar now. Harrison and Russell are on the fucking rise. The lengths that they go to as actors for this is astonishing. I will admit that Waves isn’t for everyone due to its extremely raw tempo. The cinematographer, Drew Daniels also worked on HBO’s Euphoria. I find it to be truly fascinating and different from the pace we are used to. Trey Edward Schults has officially arrived.