2012 Florida Film Festival
The 2012 Florida Film Festival's brightest star is Central Florida itself. Are we ready for our close-up?
Published: April 12, 2012
I Wish [Kiseki] – This film was not screened for critics. (4:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park)
Hide Away (2 Stars) Touted as the first leading dramatic role for supporting standout Josh Lucas, the success of Hide Away (until recently, the film was known as A Year in Mooring) depends almost exclusively on the actor's expressions since his character's journey is mostly solitary. Bad idea. As much as I've admired Lucas in the past, he maintains one unreadable look throughout this dull, slightly absurd drama. Whether having sex, struggling to find water for a shower, renovating his newly acquired POS boat or remembering the tragedy that sent him to the docks – the same one employed by countless solitary-man dramas – Lucas looks, well, confused. Always confused. Director Chris Eyre made a splash with his directorial debut, 1998's Smoke Signals. Hide Away, however, is just soggy. – JS (6:45 p.m. at Regal Winter Park)
Headhunters (4 Stars) With Buscemi eyes and Walken hair, Roger Brown (a wonderfully squirmy Aksel Hennie) doesn't seem like the corporate climber type. But even he admits that his lavish lifestyle is a means of compensation for his short stature. What's more, it's a cover for his daytime hobby of boosting pieces of rare art from potential employees. Roger goes too far once he fleeces former mercenary Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones), and what begins as a slick anti-hero outing soon becomes a brazenly entertaining cat-and-mouse thriller in director Morten Tyldum's capable hands. Catch it before the inevitable American remake hits. – WG (8:45 p.m. at Regal Winter Park)
Under African Skies (2 Stars) For those who didn't already endure the media firestorm surrounding Paul Simon's zeitgeist-shifting foray into international coffee-table music, Graceland, Skies reopens the apartheid wounds Simon's boundless borrower's ambition opened when he crossed South African cultural boycott lines to capture native sounds in a bottle in 1985. Director Joe Berlinger goes relatively light on the criticism, here – though Simon is faced in present times with at least one of his previous African foes for some fence-mending – instead lionizing the songwriter's signature solo endeavor in the hindsight pantheon of risks worth taking to save the world. It is Oprah's favorite album, after all. – BM (9:30 p.m. at Regal Winter Park)
Lovely Molly (4 Stars) This supernatural thriller about a young wife pursued by the ghosts of her past comes to us from Haxan Films – which some will take as a cue to put on the Douchebag Hat and snicker at a career trajectory that rockets one from Opening-Night Film to Midnight Feature mainstay in the span of a decade or so. Fortunately, Lovely Molly is well-made enough – tight and tense – to ensure that the only back story we need preoccupy ourselves with is the one playing out on the screen. Our Molly, it turns out, has quite a raft of horrors in her history, and her efforts to document her latest bedevilments on camera make for an engaging entry in the unreliable-videographer genre. Writer-director Eduardo Sánchez's interest in avoiding the purely conventional sometimes prevents him from deciding exactly which story he wants to tell: The hints of Equus in particular come out of left field and largely stay there. But the night-vision sequences of things going bump accomplish just what they need to, which is to remind Oren Peli who wrote the book on this sort of thing. (That's right: Robert Wise.) – SS (11:59 p.m. at Enzian Theater)