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54 Ratings

This Is Martin Bonner

Directed by Chad Hartigan
United States, 2013


In this quietly observational film, Hartigan affects naturalism but hints at unnerving disquietude as both Martin and Travis struggle in an unfamiliar place—looking for a second chance at life.

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This Is Martin Bonner Directed by Chad Hartigan

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2013 | 2 wins including: Best of Next! (Audience Award)

Independent Spirit Awards

2014 | Winner: John Cassavetes Award

Hartigan tempers the sentimentality of his premise with an equally uncommon formal rigor, shooting largely in precisely composed long takes and glacial 360-degree pans, attuned to the psychic effects of the landscape and the articulating the pain felt by his leads through suggestion rather than explication. The result has a certain sophistication—and not only of style, but, more impressively, of expression.
September 19, 2013
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If some of the film’s visuals imply a director still handcuffed by patterned modes of thinking, the overriding worldview of the film is quite the opposite. At the heart of This Is Martin Bonner is the idea that our identities are malleable, as well as the reassuring belief that life can always restart if we allow it to.
August 14, 2013
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In writer-director Chad Hartigan’s daringly low-key film, Martin takes Travis under his wing, and, slowly, beat by beat, a friendship is built. This Is Martin Bonner isn’t exciting, but it’s also never dull. By calling on his leads to underplay nearly every moment, Hartigan calls into question our deeply ingrained instinct, as moviegoers, to witness a steady parade of amped-up emotions.
August 14, 2013
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