Apart From That (4 stars)

  • List.co.uk
  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

(Randy Walker/Jennifer Shainin, US, 2006) 120min

Great suburban America - vast, twisted, scary, and an obsession of indie filmmakers as diverse as Hal Hartley and David Lynch. But far from Lynch’s baroque sensationalism, this is a portrayal of unconventional families from writer/directors Shainin and Walker. With an ambitiously large (and surprisingly multi-racial) cast and disparate narratives, Apart From That nearly falters at the first hurdle - that of comprehension. But fragmentary plot is only ever a hesitantly offered context that hovers around the film’s crucial events. Instead, miscommunication and unresolved details are the catalysts. And so, unfettered by realism, the film successfully dodges the mundane within every scene. Its universe is a skewed mirror of our own, no doubt, but its characters are more akin to the American grotesque of Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor than any film precedents, save perhaps early Cassavetes. Superb dialogue gilded with vibrant and honest eccentricity and raw acting, this is a film that pricks intrigue with its curious beauty.
(Isla Leaver-Yap)

Filmhouse, 623 8030, 25 Aug, 10pm, £7.95 (£5.20).

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