obviously this is classic sundance anti-cinema, a logline in search of any sort of artistic vision. that would be more or less excusable as awards bait if the logline was good. an alternate version of this movie that focuses on kotsur and matlin trying to keep control of their fishing business would have at least been interesting. instead most of the movie focuses on the only hearing member of the family and her hysterical struggle to get her deaf family to accept her musical dreams. the scenes of her at high school could have been ripped straight out of a hannah montana episode, so punishingly sanitized and faux-inspirational. it resembles nothing more so than a mid-2000s disney channel movie that would only be remembered today with twitter posts saying "does anyone remember this weirdly insensitive movie about deaf people?" the scenes of the family using ASL are among the film's only bright spots; the cast's expressive and engaged performances are the least sundance-y thing about the movie. this is really what's gonna win best picture? with such a surprising number of actually good movies nominated this year i guess it's no surprise they'd go with one of the bad ones.

Esther liked this review