EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|UNMADE BEDS (director/writer: Alexis Dos Santos; screenwriter: Marianela Maldonado; cinematographer: Jakob Ihre; editor: Olivier Bugge Coutte; music: ; cast: Déborah François (Vera), Fernando Tielve (Axl), Michiel Huisman (X-Ray Man), Iddo Goldberg (Mike), Richard Lintern (Anthony, Axl's dad), Katia Winter (Hannah), Al Weaver (Kevin); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Soledad Gatti-Pascual/Peter Ettedgui; IFC Films; 2009-UK-in English, Spanish and French, with English subtitles)|
|"If it weren't for
the kick-ass pop soundtrack, with tunes like Hot Monkey, I would have
tuned out long before the last reel."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
romantic-comedy-drama from Argentine writer-director Alexis Dos Santos ("Glue") has luminous
photography and sets a perfunctory
decadent mood for the
dullish Eurotrash squatters living a joyless life experimenting with
sex and playing mindless games to sate a carefree lifestyle. A
disposable minimalist film for the slacker youths who do their aimless
thing in swinging London, while underneath their ennui and fucked-up
state show human signs that they are still concerned with finding their
identity and some meaning in their life (the really dull part of the
film). If it weren't for the kick-ass pop soundtrack, with tunes like
Hot Monkey, I would have tuned out long before the last reel. The
soundtrack offers existentialist lyrics such as the one from Hot
Monkey: "Hot ass, cold beer -- no future, no past -- cheap
thrills." Too bad the harmless flick didn't have a badass story to
match those challenging angst-driven lyrics.
The gentle plotless flick
follows primarily two lost soul squatters trying to find themselves:
The angelic-like 20-year-old Axl
(Fernando Tielve). He boasts that he has slept in
more than 20 beds
since moving from Spain to London’s hip East End (boho), where he
squats in a loosely-structured commune of twenty-somethings in a
warehouse. Axl is searching for his English dad, who deserted his
Spanish mom when he was a child. The other featured character is the
bookseller Vera (Déborah
François), a drifter who
is trying to rebound from a hurtful breakup and meets on the cute a
stranger (Michael Huisman) whom she screws without either revealing
their identity or addresses. He turns out to be a pop rock singer in
The Lost and Found club, ironically owned by Mike (Iddo
Goldberg) who is in charge of the commune where Vera squats. When Vera finds her mysterious lover
there, we are left wondering if this relationship will lead to the love
she's looking for. While Axl after secretly meeting his normal,
nice-guy realtor father (Richard
Lintern) in the guise of
renting a flat, never reveals who he is as he asks himself if he wants
to be normal and let his dad into his life.
Dos Santos’s film is promising and pretty to look at, but is clunky and indulges itself too much with these tiresome self-indulgent charmer juvenile idlers--which adds little, if anything, to our understanding of contemporary youth culture in the West and is only marginally entertaining. The main protagonists seem to talk to each other seriously only when drunk or when wearing animal masks.
REVIEWED ON 1/28/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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