SXSW FILM 2015
By Don Simpson | March 20, 2015
Director: Andrew Droz Palermo
Writers: Andrew Droz Palermo, Neima Shahdadi
Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Timothée Chalamet, Elizabeth Reaser, Grant Bowler
Daniel (Grant Bowler) has quite literally trapped his wife Elizabeth (Elizabeth Reaser) and their two teenage kids — Eva (Kiernan Shipka) and Zac (Timothée Chalamet) — within the borders of their property with a massive wall. A religious zealot, Daniel’s intentions are quite clear. The cloistered environment allows Daniel to enjoy tyrannical power over his family, forcing them to live a simple, puritanical life. What makes Daniel most concerned, however, are the things that he cannot control, such as Elizabeth’s seizures and the mysterious superpower possessed by both Eva and Zac. Daniel interprets his family’s anomalies to be the devil’s work, which forces him to further tighten his reigns.
Framed as a young adult fantasy, Andrew Droz Palermo’s One and Two showcases the horrors of religious extremism. Elizabeth’s seizures appear to be a direct result of her situation, suggesting that she has been a victim of abuse and probably incest. Along the same lines, Eva and Zac’s special power seems to be a profound evolutionary advancement ignited by their encagement. Even Daniel’s warped perspective of right and wrong seems to have been passed down from his ancestors and exacerbated by his seclusion from other people.
Masterfully lensed by Autumn Durald, One and Two gives the allusion of a big budget studio film — perhaps a superhero origin story for Eva and Zac? Similar to what Chronicle did for Josh Trank, One and Two seems destined to catapult Palermo into the director’s chair of a Hollywood production.