The Fits (2016)
Critic Consensus: As gripping as it is unique, the thrillingly kinetic The Fits marks debuting writer-director Anna Rose Holmer as a singular talent.
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Critic Reviews for The Fits
What the movie lacks in narrative it makes up for in mood and invention.
Using a lot of real-life West End of Cincinnati dancers and athletes in the cast lends the film an authentic feel without ever feeling amateurish, and the specificity of Toni's story resonates outward.
[Holmer] and cinematographer Paul Yee infuse the community center, in and around which the entire film takes place, with elements of magical realism to accentuate the protagonist's passage from childhood into adolescence.
The movie is a nearly perfect thing, made with such assurance that every shot holds weight and widens your heart.
Audience Reviews for The Fits
Wow, this is such an impressive, immersive and powerful film. Thematically (if not tonally or visually) it reminded me both of The Witch and The Falling, but it's also a unique experience. The music score brilliantly heightens the off kilter tone, and the framing of shots - clever uses of just a handful of locations to give sense of space, an uncluttered mis en scene, lots of scenes shot through windows or focuses just outside of our point of view - really make this something special. At the centre is an absolutely mesmerising performance from excellently monikered newcomer Royalty Hightower. Director Anna Rose Holmes's debut film is signs surely of a great career to come.
The Fits is a brief, seventy minute movie that attaches itself to one aspect of the human psyche and explores it thoroughly. In this specific instance the psyche we're exploring is that of an eleven year-old girl who is approaching the first transitional stage of her life in which she is aware such a transition is taking place. Up until this point in most of our lives we simply accept things as they are, take change as it comes; assuming it is an identical part of life to everyone around us, but on the cusp of puberty we become frightfully aware of just how different each of us can be. That is the type of change that is scary. That is the type of change that can take us in a direction we're unsure of, a direction we're not even sure we want to go. I personally believe we have a lot of say so in our own destiny, at least up to a certain point, given how hard we're willing to work, but The Fits and its writer/director/producer Anna Rose Holmer aren't really talking about destiny here, but more they are discussing the stresses of acceptance and how much that noun can affect the psychology of a young girl on the brink of beginning her passage to becoming a woman. Sounds like a lot for seventy minutes, right? It is and it isn't as the film overall is more of a metaphor than an actual, fully developed story with the exploration of its main themes not given enough time to fill in the holes left by the lack of story. The film ends up trying to find some kind of balance between the two but is only able to sway back and forth between showing us the turmoil of conflict that our main character is dealing with internally and outright exploiting the sudden sickness of characters around her for the sake of getting said metaphor's point across. This undoubtedly sounds puzzling if one is unaware of the context the film provides, so let's back up a bit first... read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
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