Friday, August 24, 2018

Movie with Abe: An L.A. Minute

An L.A. Minute
Directed by Daniel Adams
Released August 24, 2018

Hollywood is an industry that has been satirized almost as much as it has been featured in a straightforward manner. Warm temperatures and hot egos in Los Angeles make the town one ripe for parody, and that extends beyond the movie business to anyone who travels in famous circles on a regular basis, living a life that looks nothing like that of many of their adoring fans – and less endeared haters. Successfully skewering this phenomenon isn’t always the easiest thing, since it requires a delicate balancing of humor and truth that simultaneously comes off as honest and intelligent.

Ted Gold (Gabriel Byrne) is a renowned author whose latest book, about a homeless serial killer, is all over the shelves. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, he is asked for money by a man and accidentally gives him a precious token from his past. Searching desperately for him, Ted finds himself held up for money and then entranced by a performance artist named Velocity (Kiersey Clemons), who captures all of his attention and jolts him into realizing that he hasn’t been nearly as authentic as he’d like to think in the course of his work.

This film succeeds best in its depiction of the rollercoaster that fame can be, with one person completely on top one moment (or rather, minute) and then disposed of and totally ignored the next. As with similar projects, circumstances are exaggerated, as are the things that can make a person of interest to the general public. This depiction isn’t nearly as lively or effective overall as something like last year’s “It Happened in L.A.” and takes some questionable, if equally predictable, turns along the way.

Byrne has the perfect aggravated air to play someone seemingly annoyed at his own success, though it’s hardly his most energetic or impressive performance. Clemons, who broke out with a wonderful turn in “Hearts Beat Loud” earlier this year, shows talent, but the role is written a bit too broadly to really give her the appropriate platform for another standout showcase. There is interesting and worthwhile content to be found here, but this film frequently falls into the very traps it seeks to mock in its portrayal of the ups and down of life in the spotlight, a depiction that doesn’t seem to be nearly as up to date and relevant as it should be.


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