I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw Baby Driver, but I had heard lots of things. I’d heard an interview with Edgar Wright and some guy who made a cameo in the film on NPR, and they talked about its authenticity and the music and whatnot. I’d heard the movie was cool, and fun, and unique. I also knew the movie was made by Sony, a studio that is, by all accounts, struggling at the box office this year, and really need something to turn their momentum around. But I wasn’t really prepared for what I saw.
What I saw was a reverent homage to the French New Wave, unashamed, loud, and proud. I don’t know if anyone else saw it, but for me, it was difficult not to see it, especially once I saw one of Baby’s cassettes marked ‘Enfant Terrible’. I mean, come on. That’s what they called themselves in the beginning, right? It’s right there, staring me in the face. When I saw it, I couldn’t help but smile at the reference. And then all I saw was references.
Baby’s somewhat giddy dance just to get coffee, along a street littered with people that were definitely not there by accident, graffiti that was bright and loud and said something, and its complete choreographed structure screamed out Umbrellas of Cherbourg so loudly, I would not have been surprised to see Catherine Deneuve saunter down the street casually. I kind of wish she would have.
The star, Ansel Elgort, is an actor I only have a passing familiarity with, but I couldn’t help but think he looks like Antoine from The 400 Blows and Michel from Breathless rolled into one angsty, romantic, barreling towards doom teenager. He actually looks like them. Acts like them. He’s cool and we love him, even though he’s a rogue on the wrong side of law. See for yourself:
Anyone else notice this, or am I alone in my madness?