A gauzy, empathetic exploration of understated trainwrecks. The interesting and compelling style only seemed to highlight the lack, in this film, of anything to be compelled towards. But maybe that was the point.
The patient pleasures of Silver's previous film 'Exit Elena' are nowhere to be found in this plodding, unfocused and shrill follow up. Without any character one can identify with this film of the marginalized fails due to its main character being such a cypher despite a game turn by Sheila Etxeberria. Even at just 71 minutes the film seems to go on eternally. The kind of film that gives indies a bad name.
The realistic view of this side of NYC living was refreshing to see. The heroine, Natalia, is a kind of young woman I've never seen represented as a lead in a story. She's a mess and it's real. It was interesting to watch her receptivity to situations and her complete lack of self-awareness causing rejection all around her. We all seek acceptance, some of us are unaware of the cycles of abuse we perpetuate.
A film about finding your place in an aggressive, uncaring universe represented by NYC. The juxtaposition between the sweet but troubled Nathalia and both Orthodox Jewish society and the men at the homeless shelter are both intensely drawn portraits. The agitating, close angle shots fit the film perfectly.
A tight film in the way the camera, sound and acting portrayed a kind of shaky/vulnerable naturalism. Natalia is an interesting protagonist. I really liked the way that mental illness and psychological difference is portrayed with incredible vulnerability. Nathan Silver brings an emotional depth and sensitivity to his characters-that is different from many of the hip and icy mumblecore style Brooklyn directors.
A protagonist I cared for even as I despised her, pitied her, and envied her effortless beauty and vulnerability. Loved the use of street sounds, street grit, lit-up night - reminded me of so many great '70s films that used NY's atmosphere as a supporting cast member.
✺ I cannot get enough of these "twentysomething-lost-in-the-world" movies ✺ Great use of close-ups, especially in the first shot & long shots, especially in the last shot ✺ The cast of the halfway home stole the show; completely menacing while also seeming kind spirited ✺