6.7/10
82
1 user 10 critic

Diamond on Vinyl (2013)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 18 January 2013 (USA)
Henry's fiancee Beth kicks him out after discovering his audio recordings of their intimate life and his confession that he may no longer love her. After Beth confides in Charlie, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Henry
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Charlie
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Beth
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George
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Kate
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
E.B. Brooks ...
College Student
Jason Decker ...
Jason
Gary Mairs ...
Record Junkie
Sean Rourke Meehan ...
Ben
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Rose
Ben Rodkin ...
James (voice)
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Vicki (voice)
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Brian
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Storyline

Henry's fiancee Beth kicks him out after discovering his audio recordings of their intimate life and his confession that he may no longer love her. After Beth confides in Charlie, a compassionate stranger, Charlie entangles herself in the couple's lives by helping Henry rehearse the perfect sequence of words that will regain Beth's trust. Charlie and Henry's recordings of imagined conversations become a game where intimacy and identity may be real or imagined. Written by Anonymous

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18 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Diamond on Vinyl won Best Drama Feature at the 2013 Atlanta Underground Film Festival. See more »

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User Reviews

 
What every film should be. Sonja Kinski's breakthrough performance.
11 October 2013 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

NOTE: watch this film THREE times if you want to understand it, or pay very close attention the first.

It would have been very easy to rate this film a perfect 10, and IU could have justified this, but perfection is such a lofty height that I don't know if I'd rate any film that good (maybe I have in my many other reviews). I came cross this film by accident, with absolutely no preconceived notions about its content, but was in a situation where I wouldn't avoid watching it. I had never heard of anyone associated with the film; I call it "breakthrough" for Kinski, the daughter of 1980s tabloid darling Nastasssj. With a conservative critical eye, however, I can't rate this film less than an 8, which, to me, makes it an excellent film.

This is a low-budget indie, so if you're expecting plush cinematography and special-effects, you're in the wrong place. This character- and dialogue-driven film is everything not only an indie film, but any film, should be: the writer's clear vision is eloquently put forth on film, in a format that makes the audience come to the artist, rather than having the artist pander to the audience. Henry (Brian McGuire) is terribly unsympathetic, neurotic, obsessive-compulsive, yet has learned to navigate the world around him by using these traits to his advantage, as evidenced by the love triangle he pivots. The film begins with his fiancé, Beth (Nina Millin), kicking him out of their home because she found a recording of them having sex. Her conflict for the remainder of the film is whether or not to accept this quirk of her otherwise good man.

While Beth is tied up with her conflict, Charlotte ("Charlie") (Sonja Kinski), steals not only her man's attention, but the entire film, turning it pretty much into a one-woman show. The film won Best Ensemble at the DFFA, yet Kinski so badly outclasses a decent supporting case that I have to view the two separately. Her character is what I'd always imagined a "Suicide Girl" to be like, and there are vague references to websites in that vain. Like the Suicidce Girls, Charlie is edgy, and sexually adventurous, but never distasteful or crude. Her tolerance of, and to-one-the-water participation in, adult industry in general make this clear. The film "stars" Brian McGuire but the viewer would have a hard time believing this by the end of the film.

Of the supporting characters, Kate (Jessica Golden) is barely memorable, as are the actors who play Jason, Brian, Rose, Ben, and everyone except for George (Jeff Doucette), who gives a good accounting of himself as a micro-celebrity meeting his biggest fan (I can relate to that one!). To be fair, the "ensemble" was not giving much to chew on, since the focus of the film is, in order, Charlie's self-actualization, Henry's self-acceptance, and how Beth assimilates multiple reality-checks. Refreshingly,the film is devoid of the BANAL subplots which infect big-budget films. This film almost works better in stripped-down form. I shudder to think what brand-name actors and directors would have done to this marvelous concept.

The two points I deducted were for lack of exploration of why Beth and Henry got together, why Charlie is the way she is, or what she has learned from becoming what she will be, and the lack of a strong supporting cast with strong scripting to round out the film. These are minor against the film's many incredible positives, and I'm very glad I watched it. While thought-provoking, it is more entertaining, and anyone who wants to know why Sonja Kinski may get the critical acclaim and Oscar which escaped her mother need look no farther than this film. You can be sure the A-list producers and directors now have her firmly on their radar. Look for some incredible work from her in the next decade.


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