I was quite shaken by this film, and I think it transcends the rather programmatic way that Schrader seems to have gone about conceiving it. There's something a little embarrassing about the way he repeats back film-crit clichés about "slow cinema" and places his own practice in that "circle," but damned if he hasn't made some powerful movies, and I wouldn't presume that's "in spite" of his pedantic bent.
I also want to single out Philip Ettinger's performance as Michael for praise. It captured a true despair; each word he spoke seemed to stick in his throat, painful in arriving. For all the well-deserved plaudits for Hawke, I think Ettinger's side of the pivotal conversation is what I'll take with me most strongly from this film.
I wonder what it says about our world that more people haven't responded to ecological catastrophe in the way the two characters do here. Of all possible causes in whose name one might commit suicide, this is certainly the most righteous.
NB Schrader has been giving lots of interviews lately, but the long interview in the most recent issue of Cineaste
is one of the best, and worth checking out.