Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Big Significant Things: Road Angst
Harrison is looking for enlightenment on the Stuckey’s circuit, hoping to hash
out his man-child hang-ups one pecan roll at a time. No, it is not likely to
work. His retreat from reality might even make matters worse. Harrison finds
himself a long way down Holiday Road in Bryan Reisberg’s Big Significant Things (trailer here), which opens
today in New York.
about a week, give or take, Harrison will marry his longstanding girlfriend.
She is currently house-hunting on their behalf in San Francisco, whereas he is
taking a driving tour of the eccentric roadside attractions of the Gulf Coast, taking
in wonders like the world’s biggest cedar bucket. What does she think of this
division of labor? Actually, she believes Harrison is still on a fact-finding trip
with his business colleagues, but she is still not thrilled with the
what’s wrong with Craig Harrison (not the British sniper or the New Zealander speculative
novelist)? Aside from his galloping immaturity, it is hard to say. It is
probably safe to assume he is feeling pressure from all the wedding business
and the cold hard financial realities of house hunting, but the film never
really gets at what his deal is.
a little bit of him moping in motel rooms goes a long way. However, BST gets a much needed energy boost from
Finnish actress Krista Kosonen, playing Ella, an unlikely Finnish expat. She
exudes an unconventional sultriness and sings a distinctive, haltingly hushed singer-songwriter
tune at an open mic night. The way she captures Ella’s insecurities in this scene
is quite sensitively rendered and surprisingly compelling.
there are several exquisitely crafted moments, but most of the film feels like
slow, dry connective tissue. As Harrison, Harry Lloyd does his best to charm
his way past the character’s inherent self-indulgent jerkiness, but it is a
laborious task. However, Kosonen exhibits tons of breakout potential with her
quiet but intense work as Ella. Sylvia Grace Crim also helps liven up the overly
dour proceedings as Ella’s hard-partying crony.
No matter how you parse it, spending a lot of
time with Craig Harrison in a car is not a joyous proposition. Still, the Route
66-ish nostalgia of his road trip is sort of appealing. It is neither big nor
significant, but at least BST is a
thing. It features some promising performances, but the film itself is hardly
essential. It opens today (7/24) in New York, at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Road Movies