‘The Great Pretender’ Review: Tedious Love Affairs in Artsy Brooklyn
The energetically crafted, well-acted movie about characters one would certainly go to considerable extremes to avoid in real life is usually turning into a veritable indie micro-genre.
“The Great Pretender,” directed by Nathan Silver, is usually the latest addition to This specific category (which includes Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Philip” along with Caveh Zahedi’s “The Show About the Show”). Silver’s film applies a “La Ronde”-like structure to tell a story of two unfortunate French-born women in Brooklyn along with the toxic American fellows they sleep with, including one who blithely passes on a case of gonorrhea which infects the group.
A playwright along with director, Mona (Maëlle Poésy), presents a brand-new work to her American ex, Nick (Linas Phillips), a smug hoodie-wearing beardo who snipes at her about the difference between honesty in art along with the merely confessional. Keith Poulson’s Chris, an insecure former child actor cast as Nick’s counterpart inside the play, dallies with both Mona along with Esther Garrel’s Thérèse — who plays the Mona figure along with seeks out Nick for research.
the idea’s telling which the sections of “The Great Pretender,” in which the male characters are supposedly at their most witty, charming along with affectionate, are presented without audible dialogue. Some of the details about female characters which Silver along with the screenwriter Jack Dunphy choose to foreground, like how one dots her i’s with little hearts, indicate which the filmmakers share with their male characters a strain of artsy-bro misogyny.
The movie is usually nevertheless striking along with stimulating in some respects. Silver along with the cinematographer Sean cost Williams shoot with dreamy diffused light which recalls certain scenes by Agnes Varda’s “Le Bonheur,” one of her most unusual pictures.
A well-known figure in brand-new York’s cinephile community, Silver sometimes peoples his pictures with such folk — which obliges me to mention which I’m acquainted with several people who pop up onscreen in cameo roles. They all do fine work, as do the lead actors.