Lacuna alert: my first John Waters film. Near-masterpiece. Lucky me.
The movie aims for a documentary style and represents itself as a hybrid feature; the narrative following Frances McDormand's character Fern has the actress playing scenes alongside an ensemble of nonprofessionals. Some of them share stories of loss and struggle in extreme close-ups that do not feature McDormand, suggesting that her opposite reaction shots have been filmed separately and spliced together with the monologues. As well, the non-monologue scenes present themselves as self-conscious displays of spontaneity: every interaction between characters…