I went to the State Theater last night and saw the best film of this new decade: Small Beautifully Moving Parts.
The film was described to me this way: Sarah Sparks (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is pregnant. As a lifelong techno person, she finds herself more interested in the font of the pregnancy test or what the sonogram does than what it represents. She seeks out her long-absent mother (Mary Beth Peil) to see if she can shed some light on things. Her mother has gone off the grid, a Buddhist of some sort in the Arizona desert.
The film was based on a webseries i had never heard of. As such, it is very episodic: Sarah learns she is pregnant. Sarah gets frightened at baby shower. Sarah visits sister-in-law in Vegas. Sarah visits dad. Sarah finally meets up with mother. These episodes are interrupted by random interviews conducted by Sarah (very Jaglomisk) to passersbys about technology and how it impacts life. And the whole thing runs an elegant 68 minutes.
I have always been unsure about having children. I can relate to this woman’s feelings. She has been on this long road trip that everyone advised her against and when she speaks to her flaky mother (Peil giving an Oscar worthy performance) and her mother says she will be fine because she always finishes things. It made me feel better for a moment at least.
Hearing the description of the film, I feared that Sarah would be a cold character, but she is played very broadly (similar to Tanna Fredricks style) and has such warm interactions with her in-law and in the interview segments. It is a reminder that someone can be very technical and methodical but also warm and sexy. Broad acting is usually better than subtle because people tend to be broad in real life.