Sundance: Rav ogles Jena Malone and Lou Taylor Pucci... especially Lou Taylor Pucci... in THE GO-GETTER!!!
Published at: Jan. 24, 2007, 6:04 p.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Yay for free wi-fi. I'm in the Holiday Village theater, waiting for Justin Theroux's movie to start, so I'm going to post up Rav's review of Go-Getter and another pair of reviews from me.
But first, Rav. I had intended to see this movie, THE GO-GETTER, but due to shifting interviews and conflicting films I'm going to have to miss it at the fest. Luckily, Rav didn't have that problem. Hopefully I'll be able to catch this film sometime in the near future. SXSW maybe? Anyway, enjoy the review!
Im back writing from the Super Happy Panda Buffet between movies. This time Im here to write about Martin Hynes road movie The Go-Getter, starring Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker), Jena Malone, and Zooey Deschanel.
The Go-Getter Written and Directed by Martin Hynes
This was one of the movies on my do-not-miss Sundance list, not because Im a huge fan of indie road movies (which Im not, and Ill explain that later) or because Im familiar with Martin Hynes earlier work (I only know him as George from George Lucas in Love). I was eagerly awaiting it because Ive had a huge crush on Jena Malone for something like seven years now. I see everything with her in it, most of the time she has fairly good taste in material, but a couple of times its found me sitting through some horrible movies, most particularly the genetic killer-sheep drama called Corn. So it was this obsession that got me to gleefully hop out of bed and make my way to the holiday village theatre this morning.
The Go-Getter is about teenager named Mercer (Lou Taylor Pucci) who finds himself disillusioned after a major loss, to cope with it he steals a car to go on a road trip to find his Mexican half-brother that he hasnt seen in many years. As he sets on the trip a cell phone rings in the car, he answers it, its Kate (Zooey Deschanel) the cars owner. She knows his name, which disturbs him, but she lets him keep the car for the trip as long as he tells her about it. He sets out to meet up with a girl (Jena Malone) that he knew in middle school that lives in Fuller, NV, near where his brother is supposed to be at.
I dont usually like indie road movies because they tend to be boring, sure there are lots of good ones that come to mind, but for every good one I can think of another that is just an excuse to have many deep contemplative shots of a character walking around a highway while hearing hypnotic hippy music. The type of movie that is only entertaining with a healthy dose of peyote. The phrase journey of self-discovery in a festival description is usually just code for bring a pillow, we only programmed it in order to get a famous person to show up. Somehow the go-getter works, its quite entertaining and manages to actually be a journey of self-discovery where the main character actually does discover things.
Through the journey Mercer meets an odd cast of characters and finds himself in a couple of bizarre situations, my favorite one is when Mercer finds himself on a porn-set with a porn director named Sergio Leone, played by Julio Oscar Mechoso and an anal-seeking Ronald Reagan. Another good one involves Bill Duke playing a character named Liquor Supply, a hand gun, a very-touchy-feely-homosexual goon, and a very large hunting knife. The journey takes him all over the country through many beautiful landscapes along the way, and at one point it even heads over to Mexico.
One of my favorite elements is how Hynes handles Zooey Deschanels character, for most of the movie shes only connected to Mercer through cell-phone conversations, but Hynes injects her into the story in very interesting ways. For example shell wind up popping up in the backseat of the car during a phone-call, but wearing a pulsating light on her head, while her audio is still the phone-call audio. (I know that sounds really bizarre, but its not, its actually very effective and cool).
Lou Pucci delivers a solid performance, I liked him in Thumbsucker, but he seems more real and natural here. Zooey Deschanel is quite wonderful and I dont think Jena Malone has ever played a character like the one in this film, she plays this very free-spirited girl, ecstacy-loving, sexy, sexy girl. As usual she pulls it off marvelously. Theres also a great cast of supporting characters that mercer encounters on the road, we already mentioned Bill Duke, but theres also Judy Greer and Maura Tierney at separate places.
Byron Shah, who also shot another Sundance film An American Crime, did a fantastic job with this film. Its shot with this very high-contrast look that is very muted and creates this very odd-but-beautiful look. The choice to use M. Wards music throughout the film was a very good one, it complements the road movie feel and is always a great listen.
Overall its quite a wonderful film, always entertaining and at moments deeply moving, Martin Hynes should be very proud of the work that hes created. Im eagerly looking forward to Martins next film. Im sure thisll get picked up soon, I know picturehouse was at the screening I attended. Its an odd work, but with the right treatment could be a sleeper hit at the box office.
Alright Im off now for the moment, Ill be back later tonight with a review from the very first screening of Chapter 27 and it is one of the most boring films at this years Sundance film festival.