Director: SO YONG KIM

94 minutes, U.S.A., 2011, Colour, D-Cinema

Korean-born, American-raised indie filmmaker So Yong Kim has steadily been building a growing critical reputation for her naturalistic, pared-down yet subtly emotive approach to storytelling last seen in Treeless Mountain, an affecting study of a fraught Korean childhood. This wintry road movie is arguably her most confident offering to date, following struggling indie rocker Paul Dano as he drives to a lawyers’ meeting which will determine forthcoming divorce proceedings and the custody of his small daughter (Shaylena Mandigo, no Hollywood moppet).

From what we see of the boozy, shambling, professionally-challenged Dano (in a career-best performance), he’s not ideal fatherhood material, but Kim’s film generously offers him the benefit of the doubt, and generates deft comedy from the interplay with his uptight legal brief (Jon Napoleon Dynamite Heder), still living at home with his mum. What unfolds is alternately sombre and uplifting, suggesting the possibility of change in a young man slowly grasping the realities of emotional maturity. Astringent, but beautifully done. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

This screening will include the IFB-supported short film Luca, directed by Adrienne Michel-Long. While on a small errand a young boy steps into a world of adventure through a moment of distraction. 3 minutes, 2004, Colour.

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