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Friday, April 1, 2011


This Sundance award-winner, stocked with more coincidences than early Dickens, is something of an embarrassment. Written & megged by Christopher Zalla, it’s as earnest as they come, a tall-tale about two cute young Mexican illegals come to Brooklyn. The naïf (think Oliver Twist @ 17) is looking for the Papa he never met and his brand new friend turns out to be a weasel (think Artful Dodger), a con artist who steals his pal’s satchel & identity, hoping to find & fleece ‘Dad.’ There’s even a drug-addled/tough-love prostie (think Nancy) for them to moon over. Shot & acted in a faceless gonzo style (‘blocked-view’ close ups & dark interiors that don’t make spatial sense), the film seems designed for the captive sensibilities of fest audiences and the wallet of misled distributors. Sure enough, the ski-loving cineasts in Utah honored it and the recently reconstituted Weinstein Bros., temporarily flush with start-up cash, tenderly coaxed a pathetic total U.S. gross of $58,000. And so another fine film from Europe or Asia goes begging for distribution, it’s release slot usurped by a useless mediocrity from the good folks @ Sundance.

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