Drama films

The Novice magazine – its breathtaking debut passes the university challenge | Drama movies

Jhere’s a voice inside the head of freshman Alex (a remarkable, physically and mentally engaged Isabelle Fuhrman) motivating her. Hectoring, essential: this inner voice is the reason why she chose to specialize in physics, her weakest subject, just to be able to conquer it. It’s the reason why she not only enrolls in the college’s novice rowing program, but she pushes herself to bleed and break to be the best, to be on the elite varsity team. That voice, a whispered inner mantra as compulsive and damaging as the urge to self-harm, is an integral part of this stunning feature debut, contributing to the film’s intriguing three-dimensional and textured sound design. The film’s sonic component – ​​ragged, bleeding vocals in a score that first nods to austere campus traditions, before taking on a more snappy, restless character – is foregrounded to an unusual degree. . It’s no surprise to learn that its writer and director, Lauren Hadaway, who based this film on her own experiences on a college rowing team, has a background in sound editing.

Hadaway’s sound department work includes that of Zack Snyder Justice League and Quentin Tarantino The Hateful Eight. But it’s another of his credits, that of Damien Chazelle Whiplashwhich is the most useful point of reference for The newbie. Both films are portraits of a punishing intensity of ambition tumbling into obsession. Both are stylistically bold and confrontational pieces of cinema. Both feature core performances that are feats of physical endurance. And both heralded a significant new voice in American cinema. I can’t wait to see – and hear – what she does next.