This quiet, unassuming movie about a recent college graduate who moves back in with her mom and sister while trying to figure out what to do with her life got under my skin and stayed there.
Director Lena Dunham, who also stars in the film as Aura, has a knack for putting together individual scenes that play as if nothing of much significance is happening in them, but that when put together as a whole reveal an awful lot about the lives of her characters. Much of the film follows Aura as she aimlessly hangs out with friends, meets guys, gets a job. She's awkward and maybe an easy target, but she's also sweet and harmless and easy enough to root for. She gets on her mom's nerves and vice versa, fights with her sister, and overstays her welcome in her mom's house. We've seen it all before, right?
Not really. "Tiny Furniture" may be about subject matter we've seen done a hundred times, but it felt like a totally unique take on it. In fact, it's not until the film's final moments, and when you're thinking about it afterwards, that you realize the movie isn't really that much about Aura's ennui and lack of direction; it's about her relationship with her mom, a fact that's easy to overlook by the small amount of screen time the mom has. By the end of the movie, Aura's increasingly destructive and increasingly disturbing behavior seems less like a lonely girl's attempts to fill the boring hours of her day, and instead like the ever-more-desperate attempt of a child trying to force an absentee parent into taking notice of her.
This is a really wonderful movie with tiny nuances in the direction and acting that set it apart from other indie films like it.
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