What’s it about?
A coming-of-age story set in 1980s New York that follows a young Jewish boy’s relationship with his family, friends, and the changing world around him.
What’d We Think?
Armageddon Time is clearly a deeply personal film for writer/director James Gray, with a regret-tinged undercurrent of nostalgia running through it. The coming-of-age plot is a simple one but stronger than most entries in the genre, managing to wring a lot of emotional storytelling out of actions not taken, words not said, and the feeling of having missed the significance and weight of conversations when revisiting them later in life. There’s a palpable sense of time and place in the film, not just from the clothes and the cars but in the attitudes of its characters and the occasional off-hand comment that makes you realise how long ago the 80s really were. Banks Repeta is impressive in the lead role, easily holding his own across from the older cast and delivering an incredibly natural performance, but it’s Anthony Hopkins’ performance that elicited the strongest reactions from the audience – doing a lot by doing very little, conveying a wonderful warmth and strength in his role as our protagonist’s grandfather.
It may be a little too specifically autobiographical to resonate strongly with everyone, but it’s a quietly powerful and affecting film that’s sure to wet a few eyes.