When you get down to it, the problem with this story of desperate characters in a run-down motel is that co-writer/director Sonejuhi Sinha can’t decide if she’s making a serious social melodrama or an exploitation movie, so she seems to say fuggit and throws in generous doses of both. It frankly works best as the latter (aside from the hilariously gratuitous JV Wild Things three-way sex scene), as motel maids Geetanjali Thapa and Olivia DeJonge decide that they’re going to steal their way out of their unfortunate station. Their performances are the real virtue here; razor-sharp, unpredictable, and nuanced, they work even when the movie around them doesn’t.
MOVIE NERDS UNITE!
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
“We talk a lot about the look of the film,” David Lynch explains. “We don’t talk a lot about the sound of the film.” Midge Costin’s documentary spends ninety-plus minutes doing just that, from the early days of sync sound to the art of effects and mixing, and if you’re the kind of movie nerd whose heart is set a-flutter by the mention of Walter Murch, this is the movie for you. It’s full of great stories about favorites and classics (Star Wars, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, etc.), but ultimately, what’s most striking is the larger sense of history – how tightly the story of sound design’s evolution is intertwined with the story of Hollywood itself.