Sundance Day 4 Recap
The festival is still going strong and I'm seeing more movies daily. I'm getting a bit behind with blogging, but I'm doing my best to keep up! So let's crank out a couple more, shall we? Here are some of my thoughts on A Real Pain and Love Me.
A REAL PAIN
Jesse Eisenberg returns to Sundance with his second directorial effort A Real Pain. Unlike his last film When You Finish Saving the World, where he remained completely behind the camera, this time around he shares the screen with Kieran Culkin in a co-leading role. Eisenberg and Culkin play two cousins whose personalities couldn't be more different as they both attempt to cope with the loss of their recently departed grandmother. Together they decide to travel to Poland, to see where she came from as well as to visit the concentration camp she was forced to endure during World War II.
Eisenberg effortlessly examines the messy bonds of family--the relationships we don't choose to be in but want desperately to maintain. Kieran is absolutely magnetic here and Eisenberg gives one of his best performances in ages. He's grown much more assured in his second outing as a director and it really shows in the film. They play off one another so perfectly here and you can really feel the familial tensions between the two. A Real Pain is the perfect dramedy where there are so many moments of laugh-out-loud humor, mixed with actual touching moments of reverence and gravitas.
Love Me will inevitably be compared to WALL-E for the rest of time as their concepts are strikingly similar, but Love Me has more of a modern twist. After the earth is destroyed, an inquisitive buoy learns all about humanity by studying YouTube videos and social media. From their research, they decide they'd like to be human and they'd like to be in love with the the only other object they ever communicate with: the satellite in the sky. Together they attempt to live a life based on what the buoy believes is an ideal life: that of an influencer.
Love Me is all about living behind the facade we present to the world instead of letting our true authentic selves be known. It is completely a two-person show carried on the backs of Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun's very impressive performances. It has an important message, though at times can feel a bit repetitive in conveying it. Still, I appreciated where they took the characters and that they did move the story forward in unpredictable ways. I don't see it as the type of film I'll ever come back to, but I appreciated it all the same.