Fantasia 2012: Black Pond (2011)

Posted by on 22 Jul, 2012 in Movie Reviews | 0 comments

Black Pond

So, it’s time for my first movie review of Fantasia 2012. Yesterday I saw a very enjoyable and quirky film called Black Pond. It’s a British movie from a new director Tom Kingsley, about a family who have a stranger to dinner, who promptly drops dead at their table.

What pulls the movie along is the script (very witty and distinctly British) and the superb acting – particularly from Chris Langley as the out-of-touch clueless Dad and Colin Hurley as the slightly manic bearded stranger (who some reason reminds me of Dave Gorman!).

The story is told using a documentary-interview format interspersed with live action, and this combined with the painfully true-to-life conversations and arguments makes for an ultra-realistic experience. But the narrative keeps you hooked and entertained with the ridiculous but somehow believable behaviours of the characters, which almost supplant the main whodunnit story as the focus of the feature. And we get to see the Thompson family in the raw: the mother’s unfulfilled dreams, the Dad’s withdrawal from life, the effect on the daughters of their parent’s marriage breaking down. It’s touching and thought-provoking but never heavy.

If I had to sum up the movie, I’d say this: Imagine Wes Anderson was to direct an episode of Alan Partridge, and you’ve got the vibe.. A dysfunctional family loaded with quirks, an experience full of touching observations about life, and the awkward British realism that makes great comedy like The Office.

Here is a trailer to give you a flavour. It doesn’t really spoil anything:

Black Pond had its Canadian premiere at Fantasia Festival on 21st July, and had a limited UK release in late 2011. For the latest information, check the movie’s official website.

My rating: 7/10.

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