Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The amateur whirlwind of Guy Maddin's worst opening slowly gives way to an absorbing surrealist mystery. It's like a dream that takes place at this family house looming with Freudian symbolism (though with all those perky breasts and ill-fitting wife-beaters, I'd say Maddin could stand to turn up the Kenneth Anger knob of his personality, which thankfully provides at least a scene where David Wontner is naked in ropes). What at first felt the least like Maddin's work due to its community theater acting and Baby's First Editing Suite style becomes as quintessentially Maddin as all the rest, a creepy, hilarious expressionist illustration of the bonds of family.
A naked old man in chains runs around whipping people, Isabella Rossellini positively glows, and Udo Kier Udo Kiers it up, but it's Jason Patric who dominates the film for me. It's no coincidence that it doesn't come together until he arrives. Somehow he integrates the post-crime hide-out pulp and the family fantasia, probably because he plows right through, taking command of every room, no matter how ridiculous. Now what's a guy got to do to get a Guy Maddin western?
Posted by Brandon Nowalk at 3:25 AM