John Hawkes in Me and You and Everyone We Know (dir. Miranda July, 2005).
Back and forth, forever.
Seeing this for the second time, I was a little more aware of its twee indie-film gestures, but they're still not enough to detract from the undeniable pain and sweetness that runs through it. July treats most of the cast as mere props: the studied "literariness" (a Joy Williams brand of literariness) of their dialogue threatens to diminish their believability as characters; indeed, character in the film sometimes consists only of broadly-drawn indices of mannerisms, like stick figures or emoticons. This could be insultingly pretentious, but in most cases it is compensated for by the integrity of narrative logic that makes everything feel like part of one extended, shared emotion. It's impossible not to feel an amused sympathy for Nancy Herrington (Tracy Wright), the gallery curator and chronic art-school graduate who is freaked out by a mimetic reproduction of her "I've Got Cat-titude" coffee cup. Little Brandon Ratcliff, as the lonely little boy who seeks solace in the world of chat-room strangers, is cuter than shit, but that's not what makes his performance so powerful; it's his unnerving seriousness as he fakes his way through a world that's too big and mysterious for him to fathom. His demeanor is comic, but keeps to a minimum the grotesquery that often cheapens movies with poignant-funny kids. July herself is the other exposed nerve-bundle in the film: she's lovable but not falsely so as she channels the pain of her life into various art-experiments that are inseparable from her occasional outbursts of anger and sorrow.
Labels: Miranda July