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Charlotte Sometimes Reviews

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hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2012
A man who secretively loves an attached woman attempts a relationship with a new, mysterious woman.
Remarkably slow (or in indie-speak "understated"), this drama attempts to milk each moment, each over-wroughtly contrived situation for the most it can wring. Slow pans and pregnant pauses punctuate the drama, and while I found every plot twist indicated and predictable, I can't say that there was much that could have been done with this story that wasn't done. The performances were all what one might expect from an indie drama: strong, but ultimately actors being actors.
Overall, I think the story would have been better served by a short film rather than an extended drama.
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2010
Charlotte Sometimes is an indie film, shot with a 20,000 budget that is a masterwork of cinematography, expertly using camera,color and lighting.

The story involves four late 20's early 30's adults and concentrates on all the lies we tell to others and ourselves, especially in areas of the heart.

At the center is Michael, a lonely, quiet man who inherited his uncles' home and car repair business (more that he was the last man standing than anything else, as the rest of his relatives either didn't want the business or had moved away).

Michael has renovated the home into two apartments, so he has tenants to cover his expenses. He rents to a cohabitating couple who have been together for 10 months. In his lonliness he can hear their carnal carrying ons, which only add to his sense of detachment. He believes that he is in love with the woman, but since they are good friends, doesn't want to ruin the friendship with a confession of his feelings.

Into this odd triangle comes another woman, Darby, who attracts not only Michael, but the male renter. What then insues revolves around betrayals and secrets, of which I'm not going to speak further.

The beauty of this film is that we are introduced to the charactors slowly, letting the viewer learn about them, just as the other charactors on screen are learning. What is ultimately revealed is a very impressive depth to three out of the four charactors, who are all flawed, yet very real in their feelings and motivations.

The lighting is exquisite throughout, often accentuating the mood, and the clever use of camera angles adds depth without being showy and detracting from the content.

There is a beautifully filmed sequence that takes place outside of a cheap motel. A man's soul is brought into question, and as he enters his car to ponder what level he has sunk to, the car's interior lights slowly fade, dimming his face until he is a shadowed silhouette.

The title of the film inferes something important, and perhaps I took the meaning in the wrong way; though it was interesting to see that, while I may have been mistaken, in a way I was not; as who we are is subject to change given who we are with and the environment that surrounds us. The person we show to others may or may not be who we truly are - the reasons for the falsehood may be medical, or perhaps just a safety net, keeping us from suffering. We think we control the spin, but in reality the spin often controls us. Charlotte Sometimes explores these boundaries with a sure hand, while leaving us to decide exactly what will happen after the film fades to black.
Mark A

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2009
A strange kind of love story. This left the viewer bewildered. Too much left unsaid for this viewer to be able to figure out what happened. Of this much, I am sure: there was more to this than what appeared on the surface. Deception and infidelity and longing and past loves all combined to make this very hard to decipher. And the ending leaves things ambiguous so that we can only guess how they turned out. A beautifully shot, quiet film that leaves more questions than it answers.
April 11, 2013
Beautifully made Character driven film ...
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2010
Charlotte Sometimes is an indie film, shot with a 20,000 budget that is a masterwork of cinematography, expertly using camera,color and lighting.

The story involves four late 20's early 30's adults and concentrates on all the lies we tell to others and ourselves, especially in areas of the heart.

At the center is Michael, a lonely, quiet man who inherited his uncles' home and car repair business (more that he was the last man standing than anything else, as the rest of his relatives either didn't want the business or had moved away).

Michael has renovated the home into two apartments, so he has tenants to cover his expenses. He rents to a cohabitating couple who have been together for 10 months. In his lonliness he can hear their carnal carrying ons, which only add to his sense of detachment. He believes that he is in love with the woman, but since they are good friends, doesn't want to ruin the friendship with a confession of his feelings.

Into this odd triangle comes another woman, Darby, who attracts not only Michael, but the male renter. What then insues revolves around betrayals and secrets, of which I'm not going to speak further.

The beauty of this film is that we are introduced to the charactors slowly, letting the viewer learn about them, just as the other charactors on screen are learning. What is ultimately revealed is a very impressive depth to three out of the four charactors, who are all flawed, yet very real in their feelings and motivations.

The lighting is exquisite throughout, often accentuating the mood, and the clever use of camera angles adds depth without being showy and detracting from the content.

There is a beautifully filmed sequence that takes place outside of a cheap motel. A man's soul is brought into question, and as he enters his car to ponder what level he has sunk to, the car's interior lights slowly fade, dimming his face until he is a shadowed silhouette.

The title of the film inferes something important, and perhaps I took the meaning in the wrong way; though it was interesting to see that, while I may have been mistaken, in a way I was not; as who we are is subject to change given who we are with and the environment that surrounds us. The person we show to others may or may not be who we truly are - the reasons for the falsehood may be medical, or perhaps just a safety net, keeping us from suffering. We think we control the spin, but in reality the spin often controls us. Charlotte Sometimes explores these boundaries with a sure hand, while leaving us to decide exactly what will happen after the film fades to black.
bolo_bao
February 23, 2006
[size=2]As soon as I get a print program for this year's [b]SFIAAFF[/b], I'm gonna go thru it page by page. So far, I know Angie and I will be at the opening and closing nights. Eric Byler's [b]Americanese[/b] should be good. His film last year, [b]Charlotte Sometimes[/b], was an audience fave, and this one, based on Shawn Wong's book [b]American Knees[/b], opens the festival. (FYI, they usually add on a screening of the opening film in the second week -- $35/ticket for opening night is pretty steep.) Knowing Eric Byler, he'll probably be in attendance at each screening -- I think he enjoys audience Q+As. I believe this has no distributor so best to catch at the fest.

The closing film, [b]Journey from the Fall[/b], got good buzz at Sundance. I suspect it might get a limited theater run. Abraham Lim's latest feature, [b]The Achievers[/b], will also bow at the festival. Lim graduated from NYU's film school and has made a name for himself as an editor as well as a director/writer of several notable shorts and a full-length feature. The 4th installment of Cheuk Kwan's [b]Chinese Restaurants[/b] should be a crowd pleaser. This time he takes a swing down to South America. I also plan to check out Jeff Adachi's [b]Slanted Screen[/b]. I remember taking a Bar review class taught by Adachi back when he was still the head of the SF public defender's office. He himself was the subject of a PBS POV documentary about his role defending a Vietnamese immigrant/murder suspect. [b]Slanted Screen[/b] takes on in interview format the history of Asian American male roles on the silver screen.
[/size]
ZionBlue
June 24, 2004
[color=white]I rather liked this film. i didn't intend to watch it..but it sucked me in. I really enjoyed Michael's character (at least I think that was his name). It was refreshing to see an Asian man portrayed outside the typical fashion here in the west. I didn't really care for his femme neighbor. She lacked depth that the other characters had. ...but in all...it was pretty darn good.[/color]
Othello
January 8, 2004
(DVD) (First Viewing, 1st Byler film)

I was totally and completely seduced by this film. Almost immediately I was gripped by the mysterious, shadow-filled and erotic atmosphere, and was engrossed by the dynamics of the two couples. The last third isn't quite as gripping as the first two (probably because we're still trying to guess who Darcy is and figure out her connection with Lori at that point), but didn't spoil the film in any way.
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