Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Friday, November 8, 2019


Françoise Crémont, Frankie (Isabelle Huppert) to her family and friends, organizes a trip to Sintra, Portugal, a last hurrah as cancer takes its toll on her body. Director Ira Sachs’ “Frankie” takes place over the course of a single day on this trip. Co-written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, the film explores the various conflicts faced by this group of people – in addition to Frankie there’s her husband Jimmy (Brendan Gleeson), son Paul (Jérémie Renier), Paul’s father and Frankie’s ex-husband Michel (Pascal Greggory), Jimmy’s daughter Sylvia (Vinette Robinson) and her husband, Ian (Ariyon Bakare), and daughter, Maya (Sennia), and Frankie’s friend Ilene (Marisa Tomei) with her boyfriend Gary (Greg Kinnear) in tow – as they go about their day. From that list of characters, you can probably decipher that attempting to figure out the relationships between all these people will take up a good portion of your viewing time.

Sachs’ movie takes on soap-operatic undertones as each characters’ various subplots unfold throughout the movie. Unfortunately, these subplots don’t add up to much of anything interesting. They all feel like filler – an attempt to drag out the run time longer than necessary. The subplots, people going about their daily lives, feel unnecessary (Frankie playing matchmaker, Sylvia and Ian arguing about a potential divorce, Maya going to the beach and meeting a boy, and Ilene and Gary discussing taking their relationship to the next level). Yawn. “Frankie” would have worked better as a short rather than a feature.

It doesn’t help that the dialogue and acting are terrible. The cast’s lines sound unnatural and are spoken as if read from cue cards. It sounds robotic as they deliver lines without proper inflection. Who was responsible for writing the dialogue in this movie? They had to have noticed how wooden this all sounded as they were filming. Surely, Sachs could tell how the actor’s delivery of it was making it even more bizarre. Due to this, none of the performances work. The acting feels phoned in. Why should we care about these people?

Even the photography and sets seem to have been lazily chosen. The cinematography is rote, it gets the job done but barely. Scenes often look overblown like the brightness has been turned up way too high, playing into the artificiality of the movie. “Frankie” doesn’t even offer a pleasing view of Portugal’s scenery. The backgrounds are often busy, frequently causing difficulty in focusing on scenes.

“Frankie” doesn’t ever build to anything. Individual storylines are closed out but nothing ever comes together to create a cohesive whole. The final scene offers no revelations or closure, dragged out to an unbearable length before finally fading to black. Was there even a point to this movie? My advice, avoid this one.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

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