New here, working on it. May was a rough month.
Both miniscule and epic in scope. It's hard to describe how and why it's as impactful as it is. At least part of the reason is the impeccable casting of all non-professionals, whose faces tell a million stories but it's not just that. Maybe it's better not to be able to put a finger on it. A lot of films go for this kind of profound simplicity, few succeed.
There are some strikingly atmospheric moments that hint at shots and ideas that Tim Burton would develop on as his career skyrocketed. The wonderfully miniature pet cemetery and dead-dog reanimation sequence are proof alone that this is a director with an eye.
But I can't pretend that the story and performances (except the wonderful Shelley Duval) are actually good. The "conflict" is forced and tiresome and plays out as far too cutesy, although Burton would return to undercutting suburbia with…
Seen at Gothenburg Film Festival 2021
The film finds its footing by the end but boy is it a rough journey getting there.
The biggest problem for me was the attempt to split the difference between insightful character study and the genre tropes of the homecoming/family reunion comedy. Lead character Laura (now going by Irina) is a successful author returning to her rural hometown, a place filled with unhappy memories.
Instead of diving deep into this, we get play by…
Gothenburg Film Festival 2021
Features some individually strong sequences, particularly one late in the film involving a night out and a sad-sack stalker. This part works particularly because we're dealing with specific individuals in a specific situation and not commenting on the general state of social media. The film's commentary on the facade of online life is diffuse at best. Despite a complex, layered lead performance from Magdalena Koleśnik, the parts don't add up to a satisfying whole. Director Magnus von Horn could have gotten more mileage from picking one of the script's many threads and expanding on it.