In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_feher_isten_ver2

White God

Imagine an "R" rated "Lassie" by way of "Spartacus." That's Kornél Mundruczó's "White God," a brutal but stirring fantasy about street dogs rising up against…

Thumb_1xhk6o9re7godwsywy9dokwtkjx

Get Hard

In this exuberant but ultimately simpleminded comedy, a car wash owner (Kevin Hart) helps a wimpy hedge fund manager (Will Ferrell) get ready for prison…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

Nobody Walks

Nobody Walks Movie Review
  |  

"Nobody Walks" is a movie about a woman who listens but doesn't hear. Martine is making an experimental short film about scorpions and ants, and for the soundtrack, she requires — oh, all sorts of sounds. She arrives in Los Angeles as the house guest of Peter, a studio sound engineer, and his wife, Julie, a psychiatrist. Peter obediently records the sounds of clicks and clacks, wind and rain, water and traffic, and even Martine's breathing. At first, he does this as a favor. Soon he is doing it as a form of flirtation.

Martine (Olivia Thirlby) is young, full-lipped, short-haired and carelessly flirtatious. Before long, she and Peter (John Krasinski) are having sex on his editing table. Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt) sniffs out what's going on, and at first bottles it up and even begins an unstated flirtation with her patient Billy (Justin Kirk), an insecure filmmaker. Meanwhile, Kolt (India Ennenga), her daughter from a previous marriage, sees Martine and Peter snogging in the car in the driveway and is perhaps inspired to flirt with her Italian teacher (Stacy Barnhisel), along with Peter's assistant, David (Rhys Wakefield), and Avi (Sam Lerner), a schoolmate who has a crush on her.

What we have here is a household ripe with seduction, lust, betrayal and repression, all kept below the surface by increasingly strained good manners. The real villain is Martine, who is young enough to know the power of her sexuality and old enough to employ it more wisely. The pretext of her art film grows increasingly ludicrous; it's the self-indulgence of a (probably) rich kid who uses her family connections to enlist free help from a sound editor who (judging by his house) usually works on much larger films. What is the point of Martine's black-and-white closeups of insects? This isn't a documentary but a pretentious exercise; a late shot of ants creeping around a nipple put me in mind of Bunuel and Dali's "Un Chien Andalou." What does it tell you? Ants are not nipples, for sure.

"Nobody Walks" proves to be unsatisfactory because it establishes a well-defined group of characters and shows them disrupted by the careless behavior of a tiresome young woman and two adults who allow themselves to be motivated in one way or another by her infectious libido. Is this a bad thing? The movie observes it with the same detachment as it does the insects. Wait! Maybe that's the point.

Popular Blog Posts

“The Breakfast Club”, 30 Years Later: A Conversation Across Generations

A film teacher looks back on "The Breakfast Club," partly through the eyes of her students.

The Melodrama Of Woody Allen’s Critical Reputation

The conversation about Woody Allen's personal and professional lives intertwining continues, but to what end?

Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all

As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishme...

Memories of Roger: My Photo Journal from the Last Two Years

A gallery of photos, videos and links illustrating Chaz's journey relating to Roger's legacy in the two years since h...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus