Reece Thompson

The world of independent cinema is filled with movies labeled by way of comparisons to other directors who once walked the same low-budget halls. Violent crime films that play with structure are Tarantino-esque, movies with twentysomethings who ramble on aimlessly about their boring lives are grouped in with the Duplass brothers’ mumblecore films, bleak but blackly comic films about miserable people constantly being shat upon are Solondz-ish, and so on. Which is why it’s so refreshing when an indie comes along that eschews such easy comparison and instead finds a unique and original voice. Ceremony is not that indie. But while it owes an obvious debt of narrative and character to a director whose name rhymes with Wes Anderson, the film stands on its own as a fun and witty look at love whether it be first, young, or unrequited. It focuses on a young man filled with lies and falsehoods but through him finds an honesty about relationships often missing from comedies big and small. The film also features a breakout performance from Michael Angarano, a handful of fantastic supporting performances including a stellar turn from Reece Thompson, and that rare and elusive event… an appearance by Uma Thurman that doesn’t grate on the nerves.

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assassination-1

It is incredibly difficult to continue to gush over a movie that I reviewed back in January 2008, but I’m going to give it a shot. Why? Because this movie is worth it.

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Reece Thompson and Mischa Barton in Assassination of a High School President

One of my own personal favorites from this year’s Sundance film festival — the one where Mischa Barton shows off her assets — is getting a theatrical release.

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Director Brett Simon’s noir-based high school comedy, the fusion of Chinatown and a John Hughes movie, brings the house down in Austin.

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Check out five new clips from one of Sundance ’08′s best films!

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Director Brett Simon and a talented cast deliver a vision of a John Hughes-style noir flick that is smart, sexy and thoroughly entertaining.

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