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Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture. Written by
Vanessa Exum <email@example.com>
When Iris attempts to retrieve the bag Paula drops on the bus, the small child who was sitting immediately in front of Paula vanishes. Iris immediately sits where the missing child was last seen. See more »
Sometimes I thought about what Margaret said. About how a person can just drift through life like they're not connected to anyone or anything. You look around - all those characters trying to kill time. Going around in circles. Even if a person wanted to break free, they could find out they've got nowhere else to go.
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I saw this on cable last night, just 2 days after seeing the Sprecher sisters' latest film, 13 Conversations About One Thing - that was the reason I stayed up til 2:30 a.m. to watch it, in fact (please read my review of 13 Conversations, posted yesterday). This film is linear - one scene following the other chronologically - and therefore not as challenging to the viewer as 13 Conversations, but it does leave its mark (as one character in the movie has been told to do).
Writer/Director Jill Sprecher is extremely adept in nailing down specifics, and this gift for detail is in full evidence here. The film is about fear, lunch hours, pettiness, toilet paper, loneliness, rubber band balls, despair, paper clips, friendship, pencils, desperation, cocktail garnishes, anger - downright fury, actually - at being marginalized by the illusion of society - and much more. Toni Collette's face is still in my memory - her terrified-to-do-or-say-the-wrong-thing rabbit eyes, her rapture at feeling connected to her 3 fellow temp workers (and specifically, seeing her nose crinkle the way it does when she smiles), the desolation of seeing their bond destroyed by wretched but inevitable bone-chilling office politics and fear.
It's a small slice of life, Clockwatchers, but it's an important slice, one that anyone who has ever interacted with anyone on a daily, money-driven basis can relate to. If you've ever held a job, I'm saying, you will see yourself mirrored in at least some of these meticulous details.
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