Friday, April 3, 2009

Review - Alexander The Last

A married actress Alex, struggles with ongoing sexual tension between herself and her co-star Jamie, who happens to be dating her sister Helen. The actress must cope with the fact that she cannot just turn off her on-stage chemistry and is torn by the fact that she is married to a musician that is seldomly home.

The indie drama directed by Joe Swanberg is charming and insightful, but unfortunately leaves the viewer not caring about the end result of the film. The character study throughout "Alexander The Last" is the high point of the film along with the mumblecore dialogue, however again the final result is less than impressive. I found myself really struggling to stay involved and more so, never connecting with any of the individuals on screen.

Jess Weixler plays Alex and does a impressive job throughout, however her character is unengaging and leaves the viewer wanting more. Ultimately, Weixler does the best with what she is given. Barlow Jacobs plays Jamie and delivers a strong and steady performance in yet another character that is hard to enjoy. Justin Rice delivers the standout performance as Eliott, Alex's husband. Rice's character is the only member of the low budget film that is engaging throughout "Alexander The Last" and his scenes shared with Weixler are remarkable.

The cinematography utilized in "Alexander The Last" is simple in nature, but does a impressive job of capturing the ensemble drama's emotions. One scene in particular, shared between Weixler, Jacobs and Amy Seimetz provides a spark to the film that otherwise, feels as though it is just stumbling along. The dialogue, which focuses on human interaction and the development of sexual temptations, is minimal but conveys a raw emotion that is lacking in too many films dealing with relationships.

"Alexander The Last" was well written and well performed but, overall the film leaves the viewer wanting more. Furthermore, it gives the viewer a bit of a disappointment from a director who has created superior indie films in the past. "Alexander The Last" is definately worth a watch, however it can be quickly forgotten after the fact by never creating a real sense of captivation.