A marvelous new film from Andrew Bujalski, one of the brightest stars in indie film, Beeswax revolves around the personal and professional entanglements of twin sisters Jeannie and Lauren – played by extraordinary newcomers Tilly and Maggie Hatcher – living in Austin, Texas. Jeannie co-owns a vintage clothing store with Amanda, a semi-estranged friend who she fears is trying to end their partnership. Lauren leads a looser, less tethered existence and is considering getting out of the country altogether. When Jeannie receives an email from Amanda threatening a lawsuit, she calls her law student ex-boyfriend Merrill for help. Eager for distraction from his own problems, he begins helping the sisters with theirs. Imbued with an innate charm, Beeswax is a story about families, friends, lovers and those awkward moments that bring all of them together.
Oh man these people, do they really exist? Do Americans really speak this way? I'm usually good with these films designated "mumblecore" but Beeswax just irritated the hell out of me.
pretty good. Alex Karpovsky held it together for me.
This could be my favorite of Bujalski's three features, as his skilled use of nonprofessional actors allows us a window into the lives of real people struggling with who they're going to be and where they're going to go. Bujalski treats all of his characters like human beings, imbuing them with qualities both irritating and endearing. And as the film ends in his typically abrupt style, it leaves us with a sense of the depth, the comfort, and the pain all wrapped up in the family bond.
Classic Bujalski for a new decade the director takes his trademark dialogue driven vérité style and applies it to a story and set of characters several years on from those in his previous films. What remains as a constant is the awkwardness, small-scale relationship turmoil, and characters who elicit strong audience response. Credible performances from a typically non-professional cast, assured direction, and great freeform story construction make Bujalski as relevant and interesting as ever.
Revisiting BEESWAX made me again appreciate Bujalski's mastery of everyday human interaction: the fumbling, the incomplete thoughts, the inability to completely hide those conflicting inner dialogues. I can't wait to catch COMPUTER CHESS which will hopefully visit a festival near me sometime in 2013.
Jesus Christ, I hate mumblecore.
Andrew Bujalski’s third film feels as if it could have been beamed in from a parallel movie universe, so distant is it from the world of marketing-driven big budget Hollywood, or the abstruse aesthetic strategies of the international festival film, or (the “mumblecore” albatross aside, which I only bring up so I can ask you to ignore it) the horde of quirky American microbudget indies unleashed by the digital revolution. Read more at: mostlyfilm.com/2011/05/25/mostly-film-recommends-obscure-gems/