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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

TV-MA | | Animation, Comedy, Drama | 12 April 2013 (USA)
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An artist's shortsighted film about a failed relationship is reedited into a more collaborative, more inclusive work of art.

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A look at the deep-seated roots of our feelings.

Director: Terence Nance
Stars: Joy Conway, Najja Meeks, Namik Minter
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alisa Becher
Jc Cain
Dexter Jones
Namik Minter
Talibah Lateefah Newman
... (as Chanelle Pearson)
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Storyline

A quixotic artist hypothesizes about why he feels bad when a mystery girl stands him up. The event prompts him to ask: what's the content of a momentary feeling? Is it the sum of your experiences? And, perhaps more importantly, are your experiences the sum of you? Written by Anonymous

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TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

12 April 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mia yperaploustefsi tis omorfias tis  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,055, 28 April 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$65,975, 28 July 2013
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"What is the code of reality's inescapable and adaptable influence on this momentary 'feeling'?"
23 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

About 20 minutes in, I thought, "Well, this is interesting, but I'm not sure I want to sit through another hour of it." Yet, AN OVERSIMPLICATION of HER BEAUTY's subtle immersive qualities got the better of me, and I'm very glad that I did finish it. It's one of relatively few films that I'll probably watch again, start to finish, in the very near future.

AN OVERSIMPLICATION of HER BEAUTY begins as a mock-academic cause-effect examination of common everyday emotions. As Terence Nance humorously explains at the beginning, he adds the story of his in-and-out relationship with Namik Minter as a back-drop to give concrete detail and storyline to the original mini-film, "How Would You Feel?," which is included on the Special Features of the DVD, along with the 8-minute "Exorcising Rejection." {Both of the shorter films are well-worth watching on their own.} The mass of the film is narrated by Nance, but Minter also steps in with some valuable insights of her own.

This film reminds me a little of 2004's WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?, only it's more about psychology than physics. Like the earlier film, it also incorporates spiritual and metaphysical elements without any reaching or preaching. It alternates between everyday street scenes in NYC and animated dream and fantasy sequences which, along with being funny and entertaining, are quite breathtaking in a number of places. I must stress, however, that AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION of HER BEAUTY stands very much on its own. There is an exquisite imagination at work here, and the microcosmic view it affords us of universal ideas and situations makes it unique. In the end, the film is not just "all about" any one of its many subjects: love, human emotions, the rigors of everyday life, etc.

There are a number of ways that AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION of HER BEAUTY could have been messed up. It could have been overly artsy, but Nance's accessible, often self-effacing narration avoids that. He uses mostly everyday language--the quote I use as my title is an exception--and the more complex sentences help to enliven the points he makes. It could have been overly subjective, but the sober, good-natured distance that Nance and Minter keep while describing their own relationship makes it universally about human relations. It could have been just plain boring, but the frequent variations between reality and cartoons, excellent camera work, and unique style and nature of the entire film make it just plain mesmerizing. By necessity, it's rather plot less and fragmentary, and the latter qualities are sometimes a little TOO much so. Along with a few needless repetitions, the entire film just doesn't have an entirely complete feel to it, an aspect that many viewers will find quite dissatisfying. Nevertheless, I'm not sure how it could have been completed, and I can say with perfect sincerity that even its more amateurish qualities enhance the film's personality to a certain extent. Most importantly, its heavily analytical nature could have made it a real downer, but it's anything but that. I went away from this film feeling GOOD!

One way or another, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION of HER BEAUTY deserves far more attention than it will likely receive.


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