Punch-Drunk Love

The fundamental tension here isn't whether bipolar salesman Barry (Adam Sandler) will end up with doe-eyed English executive Lena (Emily Watson). No, the question here is one of authorship. At a snappy 97 minutes, detailing Sandler's eccentric but essentially loveable dufus, his explosive temper and wacky air-miles scam, it fits neatly into the Sandler lineage. Yet, with Sandler's broader antics leavened by long tracking shots and static arthouse takes, the film is recognisably the work of pop-auteur Paul Thomas Anderson.

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The fundamental tension here isn’t whether bipolar salesman Barry (Adam Sandler) will end up with doe-eyed English executive Lena (Emily Watson). No, the question here is one of authorship. At a snappy 97 minutes, detailing Sandler’s eccentric but essentially loveable dufus, his explosive temper and wacky air-miles scam, it fits neatly into the Sandler lineage. Yet, with Sandler’s broader antics leavened by long tracking shots and static arthouse takes, the film is recognisably the work of pop-auteur Paul Thomas Anderson. The brilliance of the movie is that it effortlessly buzzes between the two poles.

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