By: Jolie Featherstone Paul Downs Colaizzo’s directorial debut, Brittany Runs a Marathon, offers a progressive and empathetic take on a classic storyline that has historically had insidious effects on our view of body image. The film packs an emotional punch in its ambition to tell a compassionate fable reminding us that everyone walks (er…runs) their own journey in life.
In the freewheeling indie Sword of Trust, director Lynn Shelton has given her four talented principals the go-ahead to improvise when needed. And with their background in comedy, the audience can clearly see these actors are game. Shelton (who wrote this movie with former SNL staff writer Mike O’Brien) is no stranger to a loose narrative, as seen in 2009’s hilarious buddy comedy Hump Day. But, this time, her reigns are a little too loose.
Reintegrating kidnappees into society is familiar territory, but Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear adds a charming, unique twist to the narrative. With a cast and crew populated by Saturday Night Live staff (including director Dave McCary, co-writer and star Kyle Mooney, and producer and co-star Andy Samberg), Brigsby Bear lacks the cynicism typically associated with themes of nostalgia; instead, Brigsby is rather heartwarming in its absurdity.