SFIFF 57 Report: Chris Messina’s “Alex of Venice”, Zaza Urushadze’s “Tangerines” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves”
Alex of Venice
Chris Messina‘s directorial debut, and the Closing Night film at the San Francisco International Film Festival, is a very warm, honest portrayal of a… how do you say… late young adulthood-life crisis. It involves two young parents, one, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a very busy and career-focused woman; her husband, played by Messina, who is growing tired of an adolescence lost, and her father and sister (Don Johnson and the writer of the film, Katie Nehra). It is a warm, often funny, but uncompromisingly honest film; often, for instance, when plot offerings appear which most filmmakers would seize and milk every bit of drama out of, this film will brush over them and move on to more truly important elements, though to be fair it can get a bit sentimental.
With fantastic acting, especially by Winstead, who seems to be able to express a full range of emotion and expression almost without moving, and Johnson’s aging thespian father, it is certainly worth a watch. As a post script, the inclusion of The Cherry Orchard as a contrapuntal underlying element was very poignant. Read More…