If you only paid attention to our list of the 15 best movies of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, you missed another one of our favorites that mistakenly wasn’t represented. Neil gave People Places Things an ‘A’ grade, which isn’t actually that commonly bestowed by this site. In fact, it’s only one of five movies to receive an ‘A’ from us this year (the others are The End of the Road, Ex Machina, Clouds of Sils Maria and About Elly, the latter two possibly not even counting since they were actually reviewed before this year began).
“Director Jim Strouse is excellent at conveying the emotional range of the adult male experience,” begins Neil’s review of People Places Things, which makes it sound like Inside Out for grown-ups, if Inside Out was not already for humans of all ages, that is. The movie stars Jemaine Clement, making quite a turn from his other feature released this year, the nearly-’A’-graded vampire mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows.
Here he’s a cartoonist who feels sorry for himself after he catches his wife (Stephanie Allynne) sleeping with another man (Orange is the New Black’s Michael Chernus). Regina Hall plays Clement’s new love interest, the mother of one of his students (The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams). And it appears that Brooklyn is also one of the movie’s big stars, especially since it fills in the “places” part of the title.
Here’s more praise from Neil’s review:
It’s easy to find movies that try very hard to be funny or to tug on heart strings. It’s rare to find a movie so effortlessly lovely as People, Places, Things. Strouse’s script is thoughtful and filled with engaging dialogue. The cast delivers well-rounded, emotionally resonant (and at times very funny) performances. The upbeat score from Mark Orton (Nebraska) deliver an energy that propels the movie forward. Even the original artwork in the film, the work of Gray Williams, lends another layer to the story, as it becomes one of Will’s emotional outlets. There are times when his emotions lie below the surface, behind Clement’s soft, thoughtful expressions, when the art gives us insight into what’s boiling below the surface.
People Places Things hits theaters, VOD and iTunes on August 14th.