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1 item from 2015

Shelter | Review

13 November 2015 1:30 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

A Hard Knock Life: Bettany’s Naive Debut Exudes Good Intentions

Actor Paul Bettany makes his directorial debut with Shelter, meant to be a glimpse into the terrible degradation of the homeless population in New York. Glossy casting and a certain ignorance conveyed in its melodramatic narrative sensationalizes subject matter meant to be sobering, and thus opens up the simple title to all kinds of ironic interpretations of Bettany’s privileged, arguably clueless perspective about a human predicament otherwise passionately presented.

At the end credits, the film is dedicated ‘to the homeless couple who lived outside of my building,’ and there’s something incredibly moving about Bettany’s accomplishment, even if we are aware of a certain naiveté in every single frame and the possibility the director/screenwriter did not engage with his subjects directly for a prolonged period. Bettany uneasily unites sordid realism with tropes we’re accustomed to »

- Nicholas Bell

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