Thursday, March 15, 2018

SXSW with Abe: Wild Honey Pie!

I’m so excited to be attending the film festival at South by Southwest for the first time, and I’ll be posting reviews throughout the week as I see as many movies as possible!

Wild Honey Pie!
Directed by Jamie Adams

Boredom can be a powerful motivator, and one that can lead to unhappiness if pondered too long. Those who live comfortable existences are often unfulfilled despite having everything that they could need, since what people want often overwhelms that and inspires the attainment of some impossible utopia where each moment is interesting. A tranquil relationship can be undone when one or both parties believe that there is something more out there even though they are perfectly happy, and such temptations usually prove to be temporary, so long as what happens in the pursuit of a moment of excitement doesn’t include anything irreversible.

Jemima Kirke stars in the film

Gillian (Jemima Kirke) and Oliver (Richard Elis) are married and in the process of working together to produce a Shakespeare play directed by Gillian while Oliver does DJ gigs to make some money. When an old friend of Oliver’s, Rachel (Sarah Solemani), comes into town and things with the play begin to fall apart, Gillian follows suit and begins to sabotage the relationship, tempted by both a prospective collaborator on the play, Gerry (Alice Lowe), and Oliver’s friend Matt (Brett Goldstein), who harbors feelings for Gillian, while Oliver continues to insist that they should be together.

Star Brett Goldstein and director Jamie Adams discuss the film

This film makes the crucial mistake of acting too much like its protagonist, whose own journey is a messy and unfocused one. After the screening at SXSW, Goldstein remarked that he was amazed the film had a story since the filming process was chaos, explaining that director Jamie Adams knows what’s going on but just doesn’t let anyone else know. Unfortunately, that shows through in the finished product, which is intriguing and occasionally captivating but as a whole fails to stand as a coherent and purposeful experience.

Kirke, best known for playing a rebellious trendsetter on “Girls,” delivers a fully committed performance as Gillian, wearing her emotions very visibly and allowing her to be directed by a whim at each moment, enormously susceptible to the influence of others despite her vocal disdain for most of society. Goldstein, who praised the American advent of the “chicken waffle” at the screening, steals his scenes as a brainless object of distraction for Gillian to further set her off course. This film is funny at times but far from fulfilling, more successful as a character study than a narrative which charts an actual story around the people it features.


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