Faces Places has more charm in a single frame than most movies carry in an-hour-and-a-half. For that quality alone, it’s amazing.
Filmmaker Agnès Varda and visual artist JR embark on a friendly road trip through France, making staggered stops as they aquaint themselves with small communities and use their art to show affection and appreciation. 89-year-old Varda wants to meet as many people as possible while she’s still able to fully enjoy company and culture. 34-year-old JR, who becomes her confidant over the course of the documentary, shares her same sense of adventure and artistic integrity. They both understand their need to help the other pursue their goals, and they’re both thankful that this trip allows them to grow as a human being, a companion, and an artist. They share their self-growth with a collection of different townsfolk. These humbled people are touched by the recognition, and they show heartfelt gratitude towards their gifted enormous artistic nods that represent their accomplishments and presence.
Faces Places could’ve easily been established as a mini-series, but a feature’s concise runtime is a perfect fit for the wide coverage and the filmmakers’ intent to portray the universal qualities of humanity (even though we come from different lifestyles, we all share the same world).
Varda and JR’s documentary is a beautiful eye-opener and this year’s most magical movie.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie