Daily archives "June 22, 2014"

EIFF 2014: The Skeleton Twins and Hide & Seek

20140622-224113-81673030.jpg

The Skeleton Twins: *****
US/ Director Craig Johnson/ 91mins

 

A humorous tale of family and tragedy from two members of Saturday Night Live.

 

After a decade apart, Maggie (Kirsten Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader) are reunited due to failed suicide attempts. Both twins are unable to cope with their their disappointments and unfulfilled dreams. Milo moves in with Maggie and her nice guy husband Lance (Luke Wilson). However, while the siblings appear to be happy being reignited they both appear to threaten to destroy the bridges they have desperately longed to repair.

 

Anyone who has watched ‘Bridesmaids’ or ‘SNL’ will be amazed how restricted both Hader and Wigg are in their roles. Hader at times appears to channel his character Stefano from that show into Milo, but clearly not as over the top. These accomplished comedians use facial expressions to convey sadness and hope in their performances. Both performers are well suited for this project and have great chemistry together.

 

It is not just a two handed affair. With other gifted comic actors Ty Burrell as Milo’s teacher and ex lover and Luke Wilson adding to the comical situations the twins encounter.

 

Johnson has chosen a subject matter in depression and suicide, which is not an easy to tackle especially in comedy. However he succeeds by not being overly preachy or patronising in this dark area of life.

 

Heartbreaking, but also incredibly uplifting, together with a clever script and great performances. This is definitely one of the highlights of the year.

 

20140622-211608-76568824.jpg

Hide and Seek: *
UK/ Director Joanna Coates/ 80mins

 

Not to be confused with the De Niro movie with the same name, this debut feature from Joanne Coates that focuses on sexuality and desire.

In an English country house, four young people from London move in together to attempt an alternative way of living. Leah (Rea Mole), Charlotte (Hannah Arterton), Jack (Daniel Metz) and Max (Josh O’Connor) are all keen to move away from normal society and normal rules. They have a nightly rota of varying couplings amongst the four of them, with the rule being that during the night, anything goes.

There is not much that can be said about the film. This is due to the amateur nature and presentation of a piece of art that has very little to say.

The four players improvise scenarios to each other during the day, while having their wicked way with each other at night.

No narrative structure, poor performances, tedious sex scenes and annoying characters.

What may work as a short experimental art film, soon out stays it’s welcome. The whole experience feels like an X-rated episode of 80’s preschool show ‘Let’s Pretend’.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

20140622-211704-76624993.jpg