EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|DADDY LONGLEGS (aka: GO GET SOME ROSEMARY) (director/writer: Josh and Benny Safdie; cinematographers: Brett Jutkiewicz/Josh Safdie; editors: Josh and Benny Safdie/Brett Jutkiewicz/Ronald Bronstein; cast: Ronald Bronstein (Lenny), Sage Ranaldo (Sage), Frey Ranaldo (Frey), Victor Puccio (Principal Puccio), Eléonore Hendricks (Leni), Leah Singer (Paige, mom), Sean Williams (Dale), Abel Ferrara (Mugger), Lee Ranaldo (Stepfather); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Casey Neistat/Tom Scott; IFC Films; 2009)|
indie bittersweet comedy gem."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An indie bittersweet comedy gem
written and directed by the
twentysomething NYC brother filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie
("The Pleasure of Being Robbed"). It's a quirky autobiographical
fairy tale about growing up with an irresponsible clownish father who
is still a child at heart, has a knack for screwing up, being
self-absorbed and for being the poster child for bad parenting even
though meaning well-- in his own way--for the kids. It's shot with a
handheld camera, that has its eyes always on the kooky dad and his
caffeinated antics, perhaps viewing him as his kids would.
The divorced, talkative, nebbish 34-year-old
Lenny (Ronald Bronstein) is a movie projectionist who every year has two
weeks custody of his sons Sage
(Sage Ranaldo), 9, and Frey (Frey Ranaldo), 7, (sons of Sonic
guitarist Lee Ranaldo). Lenny keeps them in his cramped Manhattan studio
apartment and cares for them even while working. This fall visit
includes a surprise trip to upstate New York with strangers that turns
into a nightmare, dad cursing out the kids' principal, doping the kids
that causes them to go into a coma for a few days, getting caught by
the police spray-painting
graffiti on a building, making
a barroom pickup, irritating the boss when he takes the kids to the
theater and they let loose
thousands of Xeroxed copies of a comic strip on the premises,
thoughtlessly sending the kids alone to the supermarket to buy some
rosemary and other groceries, a trip to
the Museum of Natural History that causes dad to hallucinate about
mosquitoes, and a preoccupied Lenny walking down the street with his
arms full with packages and a couple of
dripping ice cream cones in hand and getting stuck-up by a gun-toting
panhandler (Abel Ferrara, director).
goes from one crisis to another, with no let up. Though he's no great
parent, he's so playful that he gets over as a dad you can maybe excuse
for his faults (that is, if you survive his mistakes). When called-out
for being a fuck-up, he can only tell his ex-wife (Leah Singer) by phone: "This is my
screw-up! I'm entitled to screw up in my two weeks!"
The personal Super 16mm shot film is a winner mainly on the enjoyable
and loopy improv manic performance by Bronstein
(a mumblecore writer-director, who shot the even more vexing film on
misery called Frownland-2007).
REVIEWED ON 1/28/2011 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ