of this film as Pirandello’s Möbius Strip. The looping narrative gamesmanship
is clever, but the horny hipsters we could do without. Form duly trumps characterization
in Pedro Morelli’s Zoom (trailer here), which opens
today in New York.
is an aspiring cartoonist working a day job in a prosthetic sex doll factory,
but in her evenings, she writes her graphic novel about the sexual escapades of
Edward, a seductive Hollywood leading man, who has just directed his first film
about Michelle, a Brazilian model struggling to find her artistic voice by
writing a novel about Emma, an aspiring cartoonist, but you already know the
rest. Everyone’s lives continue much as they always have until Emma vents some
of her recent resentments by suddenly reducing an important part of Edward—and we’re
not talking about his personality here.
reduction comes at a particularly bad time for Edward, because he needs to
seduce Marissa, the new studio head if he wants her to release his art film
about Michelle. Originally, he intended it to end on an ambiguous but
empowering note, but he loses artistic control when his frienemy Horowitz is
brought in to reshoot the ending. Thus the narrative cycle is soured by a chain
of bad karma.
third act pay-off might be clever enough to redeem all the annoying smarminess that
came before it. At the risk of sounding prudish, Zoom would have been much more interesting and considerably more
fun if there had been less sexual content and more self-referential
dot-connecting. Frankly, all the business in the naughty prosthetic factory
brings back bad memories of the mannequin warehouse in the ridiculously
overrated Maniac remake. To put it
delicately, we really don’t need to see Alison Pill and Tyler Labine (Dale in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) having
afternoon delight-time together.
the most amusing performances come from Jennifer Irwin and Don McKellar, who
are rotoscoped (a la Alois Nebel and A Scanner Darkly) in Edward’s animated
sequences. The similarly ‘scoped Gael García Bernal might be slightly too
convincing as the sleazy Edward. Pill and Labine are pretty shticky as Emma and
her toy factory boss, but at least they register more than Mariana Ximenes’s
bland Marina and the awkward-looking Jason Priestley underwhelming as her jerky
has real ambition, so many viewers will be frustrated
when they do not like it more than they were hoping. There is just too much
TMI. Inspiring dramatically mixed and contradictory feelings—and a knife’s edge
2.5 rating, Zoom opens today (9/2) in
New York, at the Village East.
Labels: Animated films, Canadian Cinema, Post-Modern game-playing