Written & Directed By: Alex Ross Perry
Cinematography: Sean Price Williams
Editor: Robert Greene
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Adam Horowitz, Analeigh Tipton, Chloe Sevingy, Mary Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Kate Lyn Sheil
An intersectional narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.
First and foremost let me say that this film is shot beautifully, Usually that can be a warning sign. Here it just goes along with the milieu.
These films come across as more an anthropological study of culture that I personally regale and see glimpses of, but am never fully immersed in. Sometimes one wishes they could be even though the characters seem petty, cruel and often worried about the wrong things. For instance how they will be seen over the moral obligations and responsibility. Where the characters speak in volumes with plenty of hyper verbiage in their sentences that seem natural for them but at times comes across as unnecessary and showing off to illustrate they are bookish:
So, quite often they feel like they are their own expose. One where you usually have to be in the right mood to watch. As for me because I usually will detest most of the characters. One has to work up to be around them even when it comes to the big screen.
This seems like an ingenue movie at first. Where the female character affects the others inadvertently more through her looks, the lust and projections put upon her rather than her or own actual behavior.
While the ingenue exhibits a personality we get sketches of her more out of reaction to others. So that we barely actually know her. Which is soothing as the audience can place their sympathies with characters against her but we never hate or blame her personally. but as the film goes along she stays a model the slowly gets filled in and detailed.
The film is also a bunch of middle aged people sad and complains about their middle class lives. Where they thought they would be more accomplished and impressive. Where their depression seems or tries to come off as profound. It actually comes off as introspective reasoning as melodrama therapy In conversations between characters with some good old whining to go along.
There is an inherent lust but his actions seems more to be acted out only by a Greek chorus of male peer pressure. Even as Adam Horowitz character’s marriage already seems to be a cold one.
Though it seems she is more attracted to the other gentleman played by Jason Schwartzman. Who is more from her past and might have a crush on him still from back then. As even though he is married. He seems flirtatious as his wife suspects something even though he hasn’t done anything but acts like he has. His actions seem to come out if middle aged woe and a spark. Not to mention someone who is warmer to him. As before he seemed more to himself now all of a sudden. He becomes more social than ever before.
Who examine themselves and their lives way too much instead of enjoying what they do have which is more than most. And seem to more enjoy sharing their opinions if their grievances with each other even though they know one another.
The film chooses to verbalizing their inner thoughts yet makes it seem like natural dialogue. Though it never feels like there are any real stakes. A film perfect for chances taken or not taken with many unanswered questions.
The film plays with time a bit as the next scene can still be the same day form earlier. Before actually moving forward to give the screen more context and subtext.
The characters intersect with one another randomly not necessarily old friends or needed to push the stories along. As they are all loosely in the same orbit. Some characters seem there more as thoughts or influences more than actual characters. Though Mary Louise Parker seems so means and hateful for no real reason that she seems to be a influential plot device and a bomb thrower to move things along. Which can feel narcissistic and monotonous
At first the ingenue comes off as likable and a bit more innocent but as the film goes along loses the luster though that happens with Each character. the best or most appealing aspect of this movie are the repeated close ups of Emily Browning as the ingenue. She seems More not only just a beauty but also a character searching for a movie.
You know what type of movie you are in for. Middle aged characters looking back at their love and decisions not their current ones and complaining or examining and slowly opening up. Who overthink to show their education and vocabulary comes off more like characters in a book observances that seem to be with different thought making characters or dilemmas as he can wish on characters their own personal philosophies or variations of personalities.
Which will leave the audience Similarly fascinated and disapproved even though don’t know what one would expect. As the film. Doesn’t lead or offer any answers. As the film doesn’t go in any way you think it will or anywhere because it seems everyone talks or thinks their way out of any actions. It feels like a modern version of an Igmar bergman film of depressed emotional characters without a moral to challenge not really a situation to deal with, more an observation that revolves around a new element introduced Naomi with plenty of close ups beautifully shot that gets sadder as it goes along.
The Characters are of interest, but not much is made of it more a coincidence and what happens living in the city and same neighborhood seems more middle class haze, Laze and depression. As the characters get Confusing and inappropriate making themselves the victim of their own guilt because of lust. Though what she actually wants she can’t have no matter the strength of beauty and youth and her insecurity.
The third act is a very strong aftermath to what feels like a weak end act. So it feels a little unbound.
Yet it feels more the stuff of a novel own written by the characters of writer/Director Alex Ross Perry’s previous film LISTEN UP PHILIP though this Is a bit different as everything here seems more upfront. One is excited by him as a director as each film feel familiar but also seems to be totally different from the last. Even if just presentation and aesthetics. Though as usual with these types of movies. There seems to be a lack of diversity.
This is One of those movie where in my teen years would regularly go see a movie every Friday or sometime on the weekend. (Not parties mind you) Where at times you just picked the best that was out. Some of these films I wouldn’t have normally watched at the time if I was older or if they came out now due to lack of interest and funds