We’re almost there, you guys. We’re almost there. Soon the summer movie season — which this year seemed even louder, uglier, and dumber than ever, though that could just be me getting old — will draw to a close, and the fall will begin. Hollywood, with an eye on those little gold statues, will release movies with, oh, nuance and complexity and that sort of thing. But you don’t have to wait until September; the indies are getting a jump on the majors, countering Blockbuster Fatigue™ with some truly marvelous limited releases.
The Spectacular Now
Release: August 2
Director: James Ponsoldt
Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler
James Ponsoldt’s tender comedy/drama captures the milestones of adolescence (first kiss, first sex, first drink, first disappointment) in a manner so honest and true, it’s dizzying. It’s helped by the fact that they’ve cast the roles with actors who actually look and sound like teenagers: Miles Teller perfectly captures the misplaced cockiness of the handsome-enough joker, while Shailene Woodley disappears into the role of the shy wallflower who can only see the goodness in her flawed beau. Emotionally raw, indescribably moving, and one of the year’s best films.