Double Review! Frank & Lola and Microbe & Gasoline
(The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival ran April 21-May 5. This double dose review signals the end of our coverage and special thanks to Jessica Baxter for giving us the scoop!)
Matthew M. Ross wrote and directed his debut feature about two emotionally raw people (Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots) who fall hard before letting their troubled pasts erode their relationship. Despite the title, the script sticks with Frank’s point of view, shifting the tone mid-way from indie romance to psychosexual thriller as he seeks to learn the full story behind Lola’s trepidation. Shannon and Poots are so natural in their roles that some of the noir contrivances seem unbefitting. But viewed as a fable about the perils of male jealousy and having a sense of entitlement over the women they love, it works.
Michel Gondry’s most personal, reality-based film to date follows two teenage misfits who embark on a road trip through rural France to escape their troubled lives. Daniel, a.k.a. Microbe, is ridiculed for being small and feminine. He’s a loner who spends his days drawing wanking material. His life changes when he meets Theo, an older transfer student, dubbed Gasoline for his omnipresent odor, thanks to his mechanical tinkering. The boys disguise their car as a small house to remain “inconspicuous” on their journey, with mixed results. This time, Gondry leaves the creativity and whimsy to his characters, resulting in his best work in ages.
– Jessica Baxter @tehBaxter)