Irish Film Institute -TINY FURNITURE



98 minutes, U.S.A., 2010, Colour, D-Cinema

Just out of college and miserably single, the 20-something heroine of Lena Dunham’s wry first feature is what you’d call a work in progress. Moving back home to upscale Manhattan however, where mum’s a successful artist – her photos of miniature interiors supply the film’s title – and little sis has just won a national poetry competition, doesn’t exactly help matters.

Majoring in sarcastic dialogue and awkward romantic entanglements, the film is essentially a 21st-century retooling of early Woody Allen, one couched in more composed terms than the usual hang-loose ‘mumblecore’ fare. The wide-screen visual precision marks it out, but so too does writer-director Dunham’s central performance, putting an untogether personality and unflatteringly schlubby physical presence centre stage and thus making a vital point about the body-beautiful celeb-centric culture providing an oppressive context in which to grow up. The fact that it’s also Dunham’s real mum and real sister definitely adds a frisson. Tiny Furniture is a witty, slow-burning indie charmer that announces a comedic talent to watch. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.) 

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