Full Grown Men - Directed by David MonroSarah Gavron.
Alby (Matt McGrath) leaves his wife and son to go on a road trip with his childhood friend, Elias (Judah Friedlander), while embracing the child within him. The two set out to reach Diggityland, the place of their childhood dreams. What happens to them along the way feels both bizarre and unpredictable. When Alby tries to come back to his wife at one early point, she tells him not to return until he becomes a full grown man, which isn’t an easy task for him. It’s very interesting to watch how he reacts to everything around him and, especially how he interacts with Elias on the road. Alan Cumming briefly steals some scenes in a small role as a hitchhiker with anger problems against authority. As Alby, Matt McGrath gives a convincing performance which never comes across as annoying or over-the-top. Fortunately, co-writer/director David Munro knows how to balance the comedic, silly moments with dramatic ones which allow you care about what happens to Alby no matter how weird he seems as a character. Morever, Munro wisely doesn’t spoonfeed or preach to the audience when it comes to Alby’s mid-life crisis. He knows just the right note to end the film while leaving a few plot points open without insulting your intelligence. Keep your eyes and ears out for a hilarious scene with Amy Sedaris as a bartender. At a running time of 80 minutes, Full Grown Men never overstays its welcome and manages to be refreshingly offbeat, funny and original. Number of times I checked my watch: 0. Released by Emerging Pictures. Opens at the Cinema Village.
Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine - Directed by Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach.
This documentary focuses on Louise Bourgeois, an artist who designs a variety of sculptures and other creations which have garnered her a display at the Museum of Modern Art. Her artistic creations range from huge spiders to intricately designed and lit rooms. Co-directors Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach interweave footage of Louise Bourgeois’ artwork along with showing her at work sculpting, although she doesn’t seem to enjoy elaborating much when it comes to answering questions and, occasionally, she loses her patience. At one point, she even states that listeners should read between the lines, so-to-speak. There’s certainly much more to Louise’s art than meets the eye and the same can be said for the stubborn, self-assured artist herself. Even though she’s 96 years-old, she’s undeniably vibrant and articulate on camera. What Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach manage to capture are moments where the artist externalizes her passion for art in many different ways, some of which are rather subtle. Ultimately, Louise Bourgeois doesn’t have any surprising revelations or insights about the artist or her art, but it still remains curiously intriguing even if you do have to read between the artist’s lines every so often. Number of times I checked my watch: 2. Released by The Art Kaleidoscope Foundation. Opens at the Film Forum.