Another unmistakeable entry into the Alex Ross Perry canon aka “The Ongoing Dramas of Upper Class Assholes”. Perry mounts a mass ensemble but avoids an Altman-like sprawl by cleverly having them all pivot around Emily Browning’s Naomi. It’s a collage of characters looking for connections in the wrong places or just trying to avoid a connection all together.
The cast is excellent with Browning and Adam Horovitz standing out. Browning because she’s never been given thiskind of showcase before – opening the film to her singing in an unfussy close-up is a gift few actors are handed – and Horovitz because, being this is only the second film I’ve seen him act substantially in, his presence on screen is a new and exciting one. It’s rare to see a fifty year old actor suddenly emerge out of nowhere, especially in the shape of a person we’re familiar with through their other work. Horovitz looks and feels like a Perry regular and I’ve no doubt this is his graduation into one.
As ever, the autumnal celluloid is lovely. DP Sean Price Williams and Perry’s attraction to big close-ups of faces is spread on thick here, wider than the two-hander of Queen of Earth. I was especially struck by Robert Greene’s editing too. There all sorts of striking choices and the dominance of mournful fade-outs within scenes as well as calculated hard-cuts steadies the drama with a sad inevitability, as if these characters are seen through eyes watching from above that occasionally tune in and out depending on how intense, funny or tragic the drama is. A lot of it is heightened by the spaces too; Horovitz’s stuffy office, the various bars as well as the open plan houses, they all key in to bringing the walls closer to the characters or isolating them in domestic voids. You don’t just recall characters and their voices, you remember their surroundings. It’s a crime it took so long for this to come out.
Watched via itunes.