3 items from 2015
There is a scene very early in Morgan Krantz's Babysitter that made me shut my eyes. Sitting there, eyes closed, I was no longer hearing the young mother, played by Valerie Azlynn, frantically telling her ex-husband it's time to play hardball now that he's turned off the family's cable and cell phones. I was back in Virginia, barely eleven, in my bedroom hearing my mother yell at my father for a similar act of petty financial aggression. That was when I started to realize that our parents aren't always the ones who protect us from monsters, sometimes our parents are the monsters and at times, we have to protect ourselves from them anyway we know how. In Babysitter, we meet high schooler Ray (Parenthood's Max...
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Addled children of the entertainment industry — a teenage boy in the midst of his movie-making parents’ divorce and the daughter of a deceased, drug-addicted singer — forge a friendship that escalates into a deeper affection in “Babysitter.” This feature directorial debut from actor Morgan Krantz (who also wrote and edited) has fine turns from Max Burkholder (TV’s “Parenthood”) and Daniele Watts (“Weeds”) to recommend it, but it also plays like it’s been strung together from several underdeveloped ideas, few of them satisfying. It’s a minor-key effort that will have trouble holding its own in a market glutted with wispy coming-of-age indies.
“Babysitter” opens with Ray (Burkholder) taking about the experience of seeing his mother, actress Hailey (Valerie Azlynn), in a werewolf movie — an overbearing metaphor that resurfaces at film’s end. Hailey is embroiled in a custody battle over Ray and his younger sister, Stella (Gracie Loveland). For her, »
- Ben Kenigsberg
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
3 items from 2015
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