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Florence Pugh, Vilhelm Blomgren, and Jack Reynor in Midsommar.
Florence Pugh, Vilhelm Blomgren, and Jack Reynor in Midsommar.
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Jack Reynor is Midsommar’s awful boyfriend, but your new favorite film critic

Polygon caught up with the actor to understand his Instagram passion project

With Midsommar, Jack Reynor (Sing Street, Transformers: Age of Extinction) has become the frontrunner for the worst boyfriend ever committed to film, but his life online paints an entirely different picture. He’s set up a ramshackle “Movie Club,” posting spurts of film criticism to an Instagram account that’s solely devoted to movies ranging from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing to Ken Russell’s The Devils.

Reynor’s side gig is so captivating because it seems to be motivated purely by love of the medium. There is no #ad content pumping through the veins of “Jack Reynor’s Cinemania,” no tie-ins to his own work, no discernible theme to the movies that are picked for discussion beyond simply enjoying those particular films. And far from remaining remote from the people who choose to tune in, Reynor seems intent on engaging. One of the earlier posts (the account was started in February of this year) features Reynor lying in a pile of DVDs and Blu-rays. The caption invites feedback, including how to make, of all things, the page more interactive.

“I set up the Instagram because I love talking about cinema and I watch so many films,” Reynor explained in an interview with Polygon leading up to Midsommar’s release. “That’s all I do, really, when I’m at home, I’m sitting there and I’m watching world cinema or movies from whenever,” he said, noting that it was sometimes difficult to find people with similar tastes and interests to engage with in real life. “I wanted to set this up for people who are interested in a broader culture of cinema than just franchise movies and Netflix, and to just start some conversations with people.”

The curated nature of the account makes it tenable for the actor, who quit Twitter in 2017 and even now calls the platform “totally fucking toxic.”

“[Twitter] is gross, and it would make me very, very anxious, especially towards the end of my time on it,” he said, adding that he’s mindful to keep anything on Cinemania strictly related to movies, and that he finds running the account rewarding as a result.

Reynor admits he started Cinemania for practical reasons “It gives me something to do when I’m not working,” he said. “If I was to come off of [Midsommar] and have nothing to do, it would be really bad for me. Doing write-ups on my Instagram, it gives me something to do during the week and I really enjoy it, and I have deadlines to meet with the Movie Club on there.”

The Movie Club — which has Reynor running Instagram Live sessions every so often to discuss movies in realtime — is also expanding into a podcast, of which Reynor has already recorded two episodes. They’ll be hour-long episodes, each featuring a filmmaker or actor, and Reynor plans on releasing them once he’s built up a backlog. Until then, we’ll have to make do with the occasional live video.

Check out Jack Reynor’s thoughts on the more spoilery parts of Midsommar next week.