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DC Independent Film Festival: Lawrence and Hollowman, review

Lawrence & Holloman (2013)-slide0
Telefilm Canada

Lawrence & Holloman, film

Rating:
Star3
Star
Star
Star
Star

Lawrence and Holloman is a slapstick dark comedy which ponders the meaning of life. Are we predestined to be who we will always be? Can we change the course of our actions? L/H takes roughly eighty minutes to answer its own questions.

Canadian film
Canadian filmTelefilm Canada

The film is based on a script written by Canadian and openly gay playwright Morris Panych. Lawrence and Holloman, the book, is available via [[Amazon.com]].

The film synopsis is as follows: "Lawrence & Holloman' is the dark, twisted, and hilarious story of cynical and suicidal accounting clerk Holloman, who gets taken under the wing of Lawrence, a happy-go-lucky, ever-optimistic suit salesman, for whom everything goes right. Lawrence tries to teach Holloman how to live happily and remain positive -- until everything in his own life starts to go wrong. Very wrong. Is happiness determined by our outlook on life? Or can our destiny be changed ... by another."

The film won Best Canadian Feature, Rising Star Filmmaker, Rising Star Actor at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Ben Cotton, the recipient of the actor award who plays Lawrence, should share his award with Daniel Arnold, with whom he carries the film.

The actor's comedic timing is fantastic, and they submerge into their parts with gusto, but most are likely to figure out the "big twist" half an hour into the film and wonder "when is it going to happen?!" with a fervent desire for it to either prove them incorrect, or simply end. Which is why this film could work best as a short.

The film mostly and lazily relies on juvenile humor, and the actors, although committed, find themselves going for the cheapest laughs possible. The film also feeds off generic stereotypes which fixate on the redundant and unnecessary usage of sexist and homophobic commentary.

With that said, the few moments when it is not lazy, the writing is witty. When the jokes tackle vernacular and social intelligence, the film incites genuine laughter. The actors are devoted and invested, the glossy cinematography is appealing to the eye with its vibrant colors, and the good intent by those involved is palpable. It is just one of those instances where the parts make sense but the whole suffers somehow.

The film is worth the watch, but if you are not a heterosexual, male-bodied teenager you may have to dig deeper to digest all of its parts and look past the tactless tactics. Over all, the message of living the present and learning to love oneself is always a great thing to have.

The film is part of the [[DC Independent Film Festival]] and will play on Saturday, February 22nd, in the 9:30-11:30PM block.

Be sure not to miss the Seeing Through Women's Eyes section. It will also play EK, Halina, and Materica. Ne Te Retourne Pas is another highlight playing a few days before.

Other reviews:

Films: Meth Head, the movie : Echoes (short) : Titans of Newark (short) : A Cure (short) : Precious, the movie : This Is It (documentary)

Music: Austra's Olympia : KENN's We Killed KENN : VV Brown's Samson & Delilah : Sammy Crawford's Reality Sets In : Melanie C's Stages : Madonna's MDNA : Nelly Furtado's Spirit Indestructible : CocoRosie's "We Are On Fire" : Stephan Nance's A Troubled Piece of Fruit

Videos: Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" : Lily Allen's "Hard Out Here" : Tom Goss' "It's All Over" : Eric Himan's "Dust" : Scissor Sisters' "Only The Horses"

Concerts: Natasha Bedingfield : Andy Grammer : Kate Voegele

Stand Up: Kevin J Thornton