Stay thirsty, my friends.
By Don Simpson | October 23, 2010
If you read my Day 1 post, you will probably guess that Day 2 of the Austin Film Festival started off a wee bit fuzzy. I found my way to the Austin Convention Center for the screening of Adam Reid’s Hello Lonesome and despite my slight queasiness and minor sense of disorientation — thanks to Dos Equis and my lack of inhibition when it comes to free beer — I still enjoyed Hello Lonesome. I suspect that it is going to be a tough review to write, especially without revealing my favorite part of the film — the ending. For now, I will just say that Hello Lonesome was like a Todd Solondz film but with nicer characters.
I got right back in line for S&M Lawn Care — which I have already seen and reviewed but I really wanted to experience with an audience. S&M Lawn Care is a true laugh out loud film and it was great to hear the audience’s enthusiastic reactions. But wait, there’s more! I realized after watching the film a second time, that I totally forgot to discuss in my pre-festival review just how tight the third act of S&M Lawn Care is. I also found it very helpful to attend the Q&A in order to better prepare for my interview with Mark Potts, Cole Selix and Brand Rackley on Saturday morning. (You know, so I could steal and plagiarize any good audience questions and use them for my own personal gain. Because that’s just how I roll.) I should also mention that a very entertaining short film — Sleep Study — played before S&M Lawn Care.
OK, moving on…after a quick bite to eat, I met up with Dave Campbell and a gaggle of fellow blogging film critics to watch Peep World. It’s a great film with a terrific cast. I suspect that there is another version of this film without all of the humor, and I suspect it probably would not have worked as well. However, I would like to see a version Peep World without Lewis Black’s tedious and tiresome narration. Peep World is going to be a tough film to review because I basically loved it, but it also had many faults…so…yeah, tough one.
And, while on the topic of tough ones, next on the agenda was Blue Valentine. First off, if Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are not each nominated for an Oscar for their acting performances in Blue Valentine, well…that would be a horrible thing, almost as horrible as Blue Valentine being slammed with a NC-17 rating. NC-17?! Really?! Attention MPAA, you are a bunch of damn idiots! There are no graphic sex scenes and there is very little violence. I can think of at least 100 R-rated films in the last couple years that are more violent and contain significantly more graphic sex than Blue Valentine. The only explanation is that Derek Cianfrance must have done something to really offend or piss off the MPAA in the past.