Review: ‘FAIRYTALE’ is nothing short of magic.

Synopsis: United States, the 50s. Amongst stuffed poodles, whiskey-infused teas, sinful mambo lessons, and threats of alien invasion, Mrs. Fairytale spends her days locked in her dream home and without a moment to breathe. A surreal world where anyone can finally be who they want to be, but behind which hides another upsetting reality.

Sebastiano Mauri‘s directorial debut, based on Filippo Timi‘s play, Fairytale is a deliciously eccentric cinematic experience. The glorious opening shots where Mrs. Fairytale’s face is hidden are simply genius. The over-the-top 1950’s sets, with their saturated color schemes and patterns, not to mention the glaringly flat and ever-changing window visuals, make for the highly stylized wonder that is Fairytale. And that is the literal first minute of this film. The sheer absurdity of every single aspect of this film is magic. The physical theatricality of the blocking, performances, and lighting is such a deliberate choice it must mirror Timi’s original staged version. I could not imagine this film being presented in any other way.

Mrs. Fairytale is what happens when you combine Miss Yvonne and Pee-Wee Herman and make them take the Playhouse scenario seriously. I genuinely mean this as a compliment. Fairytale has all the markings of a cult classic. The visual transitions between scenes are colorful dreams. The underlying message is what’s most important. Fairytale is about living your truth and loving who you want to love. It’s wrapped in a farce, making it all the more entertaining. The very final act takes a sharp left turn, but it more of a “why not?” moment. It is equally as enchanting and impactful.

Filippo Timi as our lead is perfection. If someone doesn’t give him an award I will be angry. I said it, angry. You cannot overlook the specificity of his individual beats. They are so funny because they are so genuine. Think Lucille Ball level of hilarity. If you aren’t belly laughing, someone needs to check your pulse. Supporting cast members are all spectacular. The costumes are a beautiful mix of garish and period-accurate. They add another element to the performances you’ll have to see to understand.  Trust me when I say they have weight to them.

You can watch Fairytale today on DVD and VOD. There is nothing like it. I see 100’s of films a year. I have no doubt Fairytale will land in my top ten list in 2020.

Review: ‘CLAIRE IN MOTION’ stars Betsy Brandt in a desperate search for her missing husband.

Breaking Glass Pictures will release the upcoming psychological drama/thriller 

CLAIRE IN MOTION

 in theaters and On Demand January 13, 2017. 

CLAIRE IN MOTION is the second feature film by filmmaking team Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell (Small, Beautifully Moving Parts) and stars Betsy Brandt (CBS’ “Life in Pieces,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad”) in a breakthrough performance that twists the missing person thriller into an emotional take on uncertainty and loss.

Three weeks after Claire’s husband has mysteriously disappeared, the police have ended their investigation and her son is beginning to grieve. The only person who hasn’t given up is Claire. Soon she discovers his troubling secrets, including an alluring yet manipulative graduate student with whom he had formed a close bond. As she digs deeper, Claire begins to lose her grip on how well she truly knew her husband and questions her own identity in the process.

Playing the convincing role of math professor and mom comes so naturally to Betsy Brandt, one might actually think this film was based on a true story. With facts and figures guiding her everyday life, she quickly learns they aren’t going to help figure out who she really married. The plot moves swiftly. There is no lag time between the opening scene and transitioning entering the mysteries. The pace and editing are such that you can feel the immediate push from the outside world on both Claire and her son to accept the fact that husband and father are not coming back. It is the quintessential, “You think you know someone,” piece. It lends you to wonder who your significant other is when they’re not with you. Work friends, hobbies, the gym, lunches, seemingly mundane moments impact us each day so why would they not impact your partner in the same profound way? But, the torturous unanswered questions left in the wake of any ended relationship are the ones that stick with us. Claire In Motion is a quiet and yet profound look into reaching beyond yourself and into the lives of those around us.

Narrative Spotlight Audience Award – SXSW Film Festival 2016

Official Selection, New American Cinema – Seattle International Film Festival 2016

TITLE: CLAIRE IN MOTION
IN THEATERS AND ON DEMAND:  January 13, 2017
DIRECTOR:  Lisa Robinson, Annie J. Howell
WRITERS:  Lisa Robinson, Annie J. Howell
CAST:   Betsy Brandt, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Chris Beetem, Sakina Jaffrey
GENRE:  Psychological Drama, Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: Breaking Glass Pictures