Everything Strange and New (2009)

 |  Drama  |  25 February 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 103 users  
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EVERYTHING STRANGE AND NEW is an intimate portrait of ordinary people and their longing for certainty in uncertain times.



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Credited cast:
Rigo Chacon Jr. ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jered Daniel ...
Hannah Kern ...
Benny's Wife
Dexter Kerns ...
Benny's Kid
Jerry McDaniel ...
Eric Reid ...
David Rodriguez ...
Manny's Wife
Susie Wise ...


Already bent by the demands of his home life - fatherhood, a faltering marriage, and a submerged mortgage - a tradesman struggles to balance his own appetites and expectations with those of a friend in need. EVERYTHING STRANGE AND NEW is an intimate portrait of ordinary people and their longing for certainty in uncertain times. Wayne is a carpenter, no longer young but uneasy with the emotional complexities of adulthood. Aimless hours spent with Leo, his newly-divorced drinking buddy, offer some relief to the heavy gravity at home, where his kids run roughshod over his increasingly unstable wife. Living between these worlds leaves Wayne feeling like a character in someone else's story. Ultimately, a violent spasm rouses him from this fevered American dream. In his feature debut, veteran cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw infuses conventional narrative storytelling with his trademark film poetics. Stylistically, the movie owes more to European and Asian pastorals - films by Tarkovsky, ... Written by Frazer Bradshaw

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25 February 2011 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Flawed and sometimes frustrating, but not without promise or originality
31 October 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

For the first half hour, I really thought this film was going to knock me out. It's combination of disturbing experimental elements; strange, loud Glenn Branca like rock music that banged in and out, long shots that were just studies of faces or rooftops, etc. It seemed like it would be a portrait of working class life that was more poetic and surreal than literal.

But gradually the film gets more 'normal', and a regular story comes into play; the familial relationships and romances of three working class buddies. There are some striking moments of honesty and surprise, but some serious problems, first among them being that these unknown actors aren't quite up to the delicate complex task of taking these people and making us believe them as real. Under-acting alone isn't enough to ground a character film. That under-acting still has to be filled with interior life. But here, too often, the performances just feel a little amateurish and monotone. There's also a running fantasy element that's a bit sophomoric.

That said, there's enough strength and originality in the visual style, and a number of unexpected story points that overall I still found this worthwhile, and will be very interested to see what Mr. Bradshaw does in future. It's just too bad this is just a good, somewhat awkward film, rather than the transcendent film the opening minutes promise.

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