Madeline's Madeline Reviews
The odd art-world theatrics and jarring cinematic approach of Madeline‚(TM)s Madeline recall the distinctive character of Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) along with the indie eccentricities of Lenny Abrahamson's Frank and Leos Carax's Holy Motors. As such, the unconventional conceptual tact in which Josephine Decker handles Madeline‚(TM)s Madeline strongly encapsulates its character's disorientation. While not initially apparent due to its seeming lack of focus, it slowly sharpens its gaze into a satisfying view of Madeline's personal limbo.
I love to write, I love the creative process, and while acting terrifies me I find a person's ability to give themselves over to the confidence it takes to embody something other than who they're already trying to work up the confidence to embody completely admirable. And yet, Helena Howard's titular Madeline never comes off as a performer authentic in her love of the craft, but more a young and impressionable soul struck by the mystic intangibility of what being an actor means.
Madeline's Madeline tries its damnedest to sidestep ones expectations of any kind of formula within its filmmaking, but in the process of avoiding such trademarks it forgets to create one of its own that both demystifies and enlightens the audience as to why they should care as much about the method as they should the final, prepared version presented on screen. In other words, I just didn't get it.
Then it gets weird.