Our summer preview issue was last week, but to see the movies opening throughout the season, you’d do well to consider a festival starting June 24 on The Grey Lady.
The Nantucket Film Festival will be playing movies just arriving in town or slated to open in Boston throughout the summer, so here are some seasonally appropriate hot takes on the best and worst.
[RATED PG-13. NOW PLAYING.]
Earl is a racist’s caricature of an African-American teen—he never goes to class, and considers women solely on the basis of “dem titties.” The “Me” is Greg, a white high-schooler suffering from Max Fischer syndrome. (He’s charming and creative, but also self-centered, and needs to get laid.) And the dying girl is just that—an ill classmate who exists only to teach Greg about what matters in life, Fault in our Stars-style. This is the nadir of years of post-Rushmore bildungsromans about sad-but-quirky boys who flourish thanks to the help of otherwise-disposable side characters. Just the worst.
[RATED R. LIMITED RELEASE BEGINS ON FRI 8.21]
Leslye Headland won us over immediately with the incomparably mean-spirited Bachelorette. Her latest eases up on the cruelty: Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie play a pair of “just friends” fighting off their desire for one another. The romcom hallmarks are all here, right down to the wacky BFF who’s here only to offer Brie dating advice. Then Headland’s script stops for zipped-up arguments about fingering techniques, or for sexting sequences represented via text-on-screen. She follows the genre’s blueprint, but she works blue while she does it.
[RATED R. LIMITED RELEASE BEGINS ON FRI 7.31]
David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) interviews David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) right after Infinite Jest is published—meaning he has to unravel the mystique, while Wallace protects it. One beautiful moment ensues: they go to see Broken Arrow. A shot gives us the story of the entire movie. Wallace looks forward, his strange psyche entirely engaged, while the befuddled journalist can’t help but stare—awed and somewhat annoyed—at his peer. Otherwise, the camera pans, moves, and searches for a way of telling this talky story in a visual manner, never finding one. It’s as lost as Lipsky.
[RATED R. NOW PLAYING AT THE KENDALL SQUARE CINEMA]
Documentarian Crystal Moselle saw five brothers walking the street, with modelish good looks, dressed like the cast of Reservoir Dogs. She followed them home to find that they rarely left it: Their father raised them as shut-ins, letting them spend their time obsessing with and re-enacting movies instead of socializing. Moselle gives them this film; their recreations and visual art command entire passages. The resulting profile is often shapeless, but the story itself—drawing together mass-level commerce and street-level cultishness—is irresistably beguiling.
NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL. WED. JUNE 24 – MON. JUNE 29. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT NANTUCKETFILMFESTIVAL.ORG