Three Thousand Years of Longing is George Miller’s follow-up project to 2015’s Academy Award nominated film, Mad Max: Fury Road. This is a story centered on storytelling, the allure and escapism of storytelling, how we are storytelling creatures who better shape our understanding of the world and one another through the fables and lessons we impart.

It’s simultaneously a two-hander with Tilda Swinton as a buttoned-down academic named Alithea who discoveres Idris Elba’s genie (called a djinn in the film) in a bottle. Elba’s Djinn has a centuries-old desire to grant Alithea three wishes which will deliver freedom to this Djinn. Alithea proves to be a tough sale when it comes to engaging in wish-making, asking for details on the Djinn’s past experiences.

The Djinn explains his past experiences granting wishes, through a series of morality tale vignettes about the ironic complications from other wish-granters in ancient stories.

George Miller’s sense of whimsy and visual wonder is alive and well, with the movie being a constant delight for the senses, and playful enough to find ways to continuously surprise. The Djinn’s stories are paired with production design by Roger For, who is a lock for an Oscar nomination.

What emerges is a love story that feels bursting at the seams, drafting off the power of the other mini-stories that have been spreading their wings to form a larger foundation of yearning. It’s a smaller, more personal movie, but spending a couple hours with Elba and Swinton rolling along with the strange and beautiful imagination of Miller is enough to entertainment cinephiles. General audiences should steer clear of this one, and they’ll likely partake in a second or third viewing of Top Gun Maverick.

Letter Grade: C+

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a proud member of the Television Academy, the Hollywood Critics Association (HCA), and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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