The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Two friends dream of a place to call home.
Eulogies for a lost San Francisco abound these days, but Joe Talbot’s magical debut “feels like something utterly new,” said Inkoo Kang in Slate.com. “Both timely and timeless,” it’s a story about friendship that offers an oblique look at the city’s rapid gentrification without pining for a golden age that never existed. Talbot’s friend Jimmie Fails plays a fictional version of himself—a black nursing home attendant who lives on the outskirts of town with his aspiring playwright friend Mont (Jonathan Majors) and Mont’s blind grandfather (Danny Glover). Jimmie is obsessed with the Victorian house where he grew up, and when it falls empty, he begins a hopeless quest to buy the now $4 million home. The story includes no “tech-bro bad guys,” though, said Peter Hartlaub in the San Francisco Chronicle. This “strikingly immersive” movie is instead “steeped in fantastical wonder” as it follows Jimmie and Mont’s travels through the city on a shared skateboard. Though the energy level of the two central performances “occasionally dips from poignant intimacy to a melancholy drone,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal, the movie barely suffers. It’s “marvelous in myriad ways.”