Butterflies ★★★★

Mixing tones can be risky but quite rewarding when it works. This movie is at its core a moving story about estranged siblings working things out on a road trip back to their childhood home. A lot of resentment comes from siblings having such different perspectives on a supposedly shared experience of childhood and feeling betrayed that the others don't react a certain way. It's a simple aspect of family life that can screw up relations but doesn't get much attention. The movie deftly ties this all to the relatively benign troubles the grown-up siblings are dealing with coming into this story.

It's low stakes and in some sense that is exaggerated by injection of a goofy absurd humor. The most daring high-wire act of mixing tones is using multiple tones at the same time, which happens frequently here. There aren't always clear lines between things being funny and sad, as opposed to conventional filmmaking where the emotion of each moment is spelled out. At the same time some things are just ridiculous in a Quentin Dupieux way without distracting the characters from their emotional turmoil. It's fun and helps the movie stick the landing perfectly.