Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (31)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (7)
| DVD (1)
This curious blend of documentary and narrative, held together less by any plot device than by a rigorous aesthetic, proves all the more effective for being in service of casual naturalism.
Points must be awarded for nerve, but virtually every aspect of this misbegotten film misfires.
Porterfield's rejection of obvious irony makes this not only a warm film, but one which shows the real face of America's poor, young and disenfranchised.
With "Putty Hill," Porterfield joins the company of American indie directors Ramin Bahrani and Kelly Reichardt, filmmakers often compelled to seek out everyday souls in their textured, oh-so quotidian environs.
It looks closely, burrows deep, considers the way in which lives have become pointless and death therefore less meaningful.
"Putty Hill" transcends the usual docudrama hybrid to occupy a thrilling third place, dreamlike and scruffy, opaque and pellucid.
[Matthew] Porterfield has achieved something hugely impressive; he's managed to make an improvised movie using regular people that is immensely watchable and not just in relation to the circumstances it was made under but in relation to movies in general
It's not triumph-of-the-human-spirit territory, but... For these kids in these circumstances, a little bit of grace is plenty.
What brings the bare-bones narrative alive is the mostly improvised dialogue created by the actors as the camera prepared to roll.
While this film could win some kind of award for getting the most out of a limited budget, the low budget of the film is a handicap that isn't fully overcome. It is an experimental film that works part of the time and fails part of the time.
Porterfield's ingenious structural choices and the film's exemplary sense of place... [are] only enough to make the film tolerable.
We are given a realistic impression of America's disenfranchised young.
"Putty Hill" is a low key and naturalistic movie that takes place after Cory has overdosed at the age of 24. As we find out through interviews conducted with various characters(by director Matthew Porterfield which are reminiscent of Peter Watkins' historicals), there is a lengthy history of violence and early deaths in this Baltimore neighborhood, not to mention prison sentences.(Even the play is violent in the early paint ball scene.) Violence is so commonplace that a group of high school girls are merely inconvenienced when they have to vacate a park after an armed robbery in the area. So, it is ironic that the one thing to bring everybody back together is a funeral, including Zoe(Zoe Vance) who is uneasy in her return from Delaware. And the final sequence serves to bring events full circle, just as the characters simply go round and round in their lives.
Odd mix of faux-documentary and mumblecore looks at how the death of a local teenager affects and entire town. Odd mix of faux-documentary and mumblecore looks at how the death of a local teenager affects and entire town.Its strange mix of styles is more off-putting than involving. The mumblecore masquerading as documentary feels forced rather than fluid.
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