5.5/10
262
2 user 14 critic

My Effortless Brilliance (2008)

An unfit urbanite author must confront nature & friendship when he travels to the Washington backwoods to restore the tattered remains of a broken friendship.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tragic-comic tale with surrealistic tendencies about a lost 23-year-old who is haunted by her disappointed 13-year-old self.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Kate Bayley, Aaron Blakely, Maggie Brown
Humpday (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two guys take their bromance to another level when they participate in an art film project.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore
What the Funny (Video 2008)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A mockumentary between 'Waiting for Guffman' and 'The Office', 'What the Funny' is the story of 'Max', long-suffering owner of a struggling comedy-theatre in Seattle. The theatre company ... See full summary »

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Erica Atnip, Annette Auger, Maggie Brothers
Touchy Feely (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt
Baghead (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Four struggling actors retreat to a cabin in Big Bear, California in order to write a screenplay that will make them all stars. Problem is: What happens when their story idea -- a horror ... See full summary »

Directors: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Stars: Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwig
Laggies (2014)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika, who lives with her world-weary single dad.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two friends deal with loss amidst events bigger than them. Andrew is the friend we all have, the one who convinces you to come along despite your better judgment. Talented but with ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Leonard
Stars: Aaron Stanford, Keith Boyd, Takisha Boyd
Quiet City (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jamie is 21. She's from Atlanta. She's come to Brooklyn to visit her friend Samantha, but she can't find her. Jamie meets a stranger named Charlie on the subway and spends 24 hours hanging out with him.

Director: Aaron Katz
Stars: Erin Fisher, Cris Lankenau, Sarah Hellman
The Week (2015)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

THE WEEK is the story of Dick Romans - a washed up TV host whose wife leaves him the day before their week-long ten year anniversary celebration in wine country. Dick finds himself alone ... See full summary »

Directors: Jon Gunn, John W. Mann
Stars: Rick Gomez, Joelle Carter, Richard Speight Jr.
This Is John (2003)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Why is it that it can be the simplest things in life that eliminate your self-worth.

Director: Jay Duplass
Stars: Mark Duplass
Comedy

A teenage girl growing up in Seattle struggles to navigate her way through different groups of young people living in the same city.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dylan
...
Jayme
...
Eric Lambert Jones
...
Jim
Edit

Storyline

An unfit urbanite author must confront nature & friendship when he travels to the Washington backwoods to restore the tattered remains of a broken friendship.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Dylan: Do you ever wonder what it would be like to bury an axe into someone's head?
Jim: Sure. It's natural.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
'Brilliance' is brilliant in its awkward intimacy
13 April 2008 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Lynn Shelton's "My Effortless Brilliance" is a study in the relationship between cocky, fussy, thoroughly-city-mouse author Eric (Sean Nelson) and his ex-best-friend, the tersely powerful journalist and wood-chopper Dylan (Basil Harris). Dylan, fed up with Eric's self-involved antics, dumps him and disappears to live in a log cabin in the woods of Eastern Washington; two years later, Eric arrives (sporting a Prius, white sneakers, and a fear of spiders) to mend the friendship.

The acting style, on the vanguard of the 'mumblecore' movement in improvisational film-making, works beautifully for the tension between Eric and Dylan in this film. Theirs isn't a "movie fight," with two handsome actors shouting witty insults and slamming doors. It's a quiet, painfully awkward, passive-aggressive, eyes-averted fight, no fireworks and no catharsis for the characters either. It's how people who aren't drama queens actually get angry at each other--quietly and seethingly.

The film style in which 'Brilliance' was filmed plays perfectly with the subject matter and acting: the camera is awkwardly and intimately and uncomfortably close, not just over the shoulder of the actors but breathing down their necks. You, the audience, are brought into the awkwardness of the rift between Eric and Dylan, you're part of the problem, you're holding your breath and walking on eggshells too.

Not that this movie is an mess of tension and closeness--all of what I've said aside, My Effortless Brilliance is genuinely funny. It's full of small surreal moments showcasing the absurdity of human interactions doused in Serbian brandy, anecdotes of bullfighting guitar riffs and suicidal house cats and Liv Tyler's derrière.

If you have the opportunity to see My Effortless Brilliance, do not pass it by. Lynn Shelton does a fantastic job studying the way friendships are broken and mended, and the relationships between Sean Nelson, Basil Harris, and Calvin Reeder throw into relief the best and the worst of male rapport.


19 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Everything wonderful about this film wishingwell57
Discuss My Effortless Brilliance (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?