October 23, 2003

Pieces of Indie

How best to put to sleep the legacy of Dawson's Crack and teenie-bopper fame? Why doing indie film, of course. Hell, if it can work for extreme case like 90210's Tori Spelling with a role in the excellent House of Yes, Katie Holmes should be a shoo in for coolness and longevity beyond puberty. Holmes delivers a subtle and suprisingly deft performance in Pieces of April, a story about the black sheep being visited by her family at her Lower East Side walk up one Thanksgiving. In many ways, it has a lot of structural similarities to Day Trippers, with the family trapped in the car together through much of the film, bickering and loving. Unfortunately though, the quality of the image also reminds CC too much of the early '90s.

Back in those halcyon days, it seemed more reasonable to deliver a film to audiences shot in DV and blown up to 35mm and looking like ass in a tub, if it had stellar performances in it. Now in 2003, this seems just unnecessary. But setting this aesthetic quibble aside, Pieces reads like a who's who of Indie actors (god that Patricia Clarkson -- take it on home, girlfriend) and has a soundtrack featuring music by one of the superstars of indie music, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields. Lush and sweet one moment, menacing the next, Merritt makes smart music. A perfect compliment to this charming picture. Now we're psyched to see what Ms. Holmes can do in a slick Hollywood dramedy.

Posted by karen at October 23, 2003 8:08 AM