4 items from 2013
Abigail watches from a distance as the man disrobes. A modestly-handsome Asian man, he has no name, and freely abandons his towel to dowse himself in a tub in the middle of an abandoned studio space. She flinches, waiting for the right moment to seize the towel, to trap him within his own nudity. He’ll be vulnerable, she believes, and they’ll make love. She’s never found love in this city, and now this stranger with bare skin with take her as her own, and she’ll feel valuable for once in a life of solitude. This is the setup for experimental drama “Abigail Harm,” which provides a showcase for underlooked veteran of stage and screen Amanda Plummer. Her Abigail is only the latest in a long line of protagonists who can never find something and instead opt to take it. She doesn’t seem fulfilled, but is »
- Gabe Toro
A critical digest of the week’s latest U.S. theatrical releases. Where applicable, links to longer reviews have been provided.
Once one reaches a certain age, the procession of teen pop idols becomes a cruel reminder of the passage of time and the inevitability of death. For any non-teenager attending Morgan Spurlock’s concert documentary “One Direction: This Is Us,” intimations of mortality will be felt most strongly during the “classic cover song” section of the group’s set, wherein the boy band reaches all the way back to Blondie’s “One Way or Another” and Wheatus’ 2000 golden oldie “Teenage Dirtbag.” Yet the film’s central fivesome prove charming pallbearers throughout the film, which alternates between inspired and insipid as it hits its hagiographic marks. Directioners should show up in full force.
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Distributor: Focus Features »
- Variety Staff
First Do No Harm: Plum for Plummer in Oddly Engaging Fairy Tale
For his third feature film, Lee Isaac Chung adapts a Korean folk tale, “The Woodcutter and the Nymph,” into a modern day fable about companionship and loneliness with Abigail Harm. Showcasing an exemplary lead performance from the consistently underrated Amanda Plummer, there’s an intriguing offbeat rhythm to Chung’s film, which doesn’t always work in the film’s favor. Filled with quiet moments of considerable impact, stilted, hallucinatory pacing sometimes distracts from the emotional potential, never gravitating far enough away from the feeling of fable.
Abigail Harm (Amanda Plummer), an introverted and isolated woman in New York City, reads literature aloud to blind folks, which seems to be the only form of social interaction in which she partakes. We first meet her imbuing the prose of Lewis Carroll with surprising emotion. Next, she’s pinch hitting »
- Nicholas Bell
I've always liked Amanda Plummer. Her small, gravelly voice, her fawn-like demeanor, and her hidden ferocity have always gotten my attention in the many films in which I've seen her. It's that fragile, otherworldly quality of the seasoned actress that director Lee Isaac Chung (Munyurangabo) taps into and uses to maximum effect in his new feature film, Abigail Harm.This modern day fairy tale is apparently loosely based on a Korean folklore, Woodcutter and the Nymph, which goes something like this: Once there was a poor man who barely eked out a living off of cutting down and selling trees deep in the countryside. One day, he encountered a wounded deer in the forest. The animal pleaded with him to hide him from the hunters. This...
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4 items from 2013
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