Armageddon Time is a coming-of-age film written and directed by James Gray.
The film follows a young Jewish boy, Paul Graff who befriends an African American boy, Johnny. This friendship causes a rift in Paul’s family, and ultimately leads to him being enrolled in a private school run by Maryanne Trump.
The film fit the time period perfectly, which was set in 1980. All of the sets and costumes definitely immersed you in the time. The cinematography was also amazing; through lighting and color palettes, you could feel a shift between Paul’s transfer from public to private schooling.
The acting really pulled this movie together. I loved seeing Paul (Michael Banks Repeta) and Johnny’s (Jaylin Webb) friendship blossom; they were both really funny and sweet. Paul’s relationship with his grandfather (Anthony Hopkins) was also really endearing. Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway played their roles as Paul’s parents perfectly, and although they were each flawed, you still felt empathy for them.
I feel like Armageddon Time was trying to tackle way too many issues, leading you to not necessarily care for any one thing. We see Paul struggle with his familial relationships, and expectations from family. The film also includes politics, racism, and overall social inequity. I also feel like Johnny’s role in the film started off so strong, just for him to become an accessory for Paul’s growth. Despite these flaws, I still enjoyed the film and appreciate that it is a personal story from director/writer James Gray.