An intelligently crafted, mind-bending, and dramatically satisfying look into the dark underbelly of the creative process, Black Bear isn’t the type of film that caters well to those looking for casual viewing.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a dysfunctional family comedy featuring an all star cast, and Happiest Season has come along to comfortably and amusingly fill that void towards the end of the year
The unnerving black comedy Ingrid Goes West proves that accomplished execution and performance can make a well trod storyline feel fresh and original. This tale of a social climbing stalker follows closely in the lineage of Observe and Report, Welcome to Me, The King of Comedy, The Cable Guy, and Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels, and the only real difference is how co-writer and first time feature director Matt Spicer’s film uses social media obsession as a backdrop. It’s familiar, but no less effective.
The idea of blending the 14th century bawdiness and morality tales of Boccaccio’s The Decameron with modern day potty mouthed deadpan comedy sounds like the potential recipe for a disastrously dry experiment in bad taste, but writer-director Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours instead strikes as a welcome, if somewhat uneven novelty. It’s strange, lightweight, and assuredly not to all tastes, but its unique set of sensibilities and influences are worth appreciating.