FFF 2015 Day 1 Welcome to Me



Submarine Sandwich
Stop-motion wizard and FFF favorite PES produces another gem of a short film (only two minutes long) involving an ingenious mix of nostalgia, sports equipment and a sub sandwich. Watching it, I wondered if some of the younger members of the audience even got some of the old time references–Do young people even know what a Viewmaster is?

Some Great Acting with a Few Good Laughs

Some Great Acting with a Few Good Laughs

Welcome to Me
After the PES short, the opening night movie at this year’s FFF once again played to a sellout audience. It began with the annual enthusiastic opening remarks by our beloved Enzian president, Henry Maldonado.

There were many moments of laughter during this film. It was a great premise that featured some fabulous acting. While there were some really good moments, unfortunately, when it was all put together, the movie itself just didn’t quite work.

After the movie, Mrs. LanceAround and I spoke with several movie goers who confirmed our impression. There was something about the movie that was a little off. One FFF faithful mused that maybe it was a little too hard to laugh at mental illness.

The movie tells the story of Alice Klieg, a recluse who wins it big in the lottery and buys her own TV show staring herself. Kristen Wiig handles the role very well. She also executive produced. Her character’s narcissistic approach to life and her refusal to stay on her meds causes pain to those who love her. In the end, she tries to find redemption in a moment that should have been very touching but somehow managed to fall flat.

The movie carries an all star cast including Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wes Bentley, Alan Tudyk and James Marsden. Even comic heavyweight Will Ferrell was involved as a producer. Shira Piven appeared to handle the directing admirably. But while the premise was worthy of exploration, writer Eliot Laurence seemed to have difficulty finding the right tone for the story. One glaring example of a script issue is when Alice’s condition is described as having started as manic depressive, then moved to bipolar and finally that was changed to borderline personality disorder. This is not an accurate understanding of these disorders. Perhaps had the screenwriter been more thorough in his research, he would have created a more believable and thereby sympathetic character.

As happens every Florida Film Festival, some movies are an undiscovered gem and others just strike us the wrong way. It’s part of what makes the festival so exciting…like a slot machine…you never know when a film will touch you. Tomorrow, there’s a great lineup of movies including ones highly recommended by Matthew Curtis, FFF Programming Director, such as The Desk, Welcome to Leith, and Sunshine Superman.

In addition, there’s a wonderful little Farmer’s Market at the Enzian at 11am and a Whole Foods Market Tasting at the Enzian at 6pm. Please join Mrs. LanceAround and I for a fun filled day of Food…Film…Friends!

We hope to see you there!

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