Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Nothing Without You

So abysmal, so unintentionally funny.

March 28, 2014

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1397148-Nothing_Without_You_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

For sheer weirdness, Isabelle Adjani in Adele H., Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Kathy Bates in Misery are sisters under the skin to Emily Fradenburgh as Jennifer Stidger in Nothing Without You. Eternally bug-eyed, she creeps through the film, wraith-like and haunted. She's obsessed with dapper yuppie councilman Michael Greenwood (Joshua Loren), who’s very much married to Denise (Kate Bringardner). When Denise is murdered, Jennifer is haplessly on the scene and therefore accused of the crime. It then becomes her quest to uncover who really done it and, in doing so, she confounds a hysterically inept police force and nearly brings down the whole town. (Shady politicians are at the bottom of things, no doubt.)

This psychological thriller takes itself so seriously, it rather works as a low-level yuk fest, with its strained plotting and hoot-inducing, overripe B-movie dialogue. “Our connection was like a fine of 21-year-old Scotch, opened under the nose of an alcoholic," observes Jennifer of her initial passion with Michael. But nothing, really, can save this been-there, seen-it, done-better cinematic dog's dinner. The feminine images it presents—from Fradenburgh’s maniac to the unnecessarily bloodied and brutalized corpse of Brindgardner—are far from salubrious.

Fradenburgh, however, is intense, obviously feeling every twistedly rapacious fiber of her character, but her misplaced seriousness is risible: she begins to bear a strong resemblance to some demented younger sister of Amy Poehler. One scene, wherein she makes a calculated, suddenly bedizened pop-up appearance for Greenwood, plays like a small tribute to Stella Dallas. Loren, on the other hand, is as slick as a Barney's window mannequin with about as much depth. Keith McGill plays Jennifer's black court-appointed psychiatrist as even denser than Montgomery Clift in Suddenly, Last Summer, reacting with indefatigable, fresh horror to every unseemly revelation. Quite similar to the eternally kind Dr. Hibbert on "The Simpsons," he contributes nearly as much doleful hilarity as Fradenburgh, but it is Will Crawford who's the real scream as a baffled police lieutenant, barking out lines like, "Let's ping the cell phone number now and saturate the area!"


Film Review: Nothing Without You

So abysmal, so unintentionally funny.

March 28, 2014

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1397148-Nothing_Without_You_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

For sheer weirdness, Isabelle Adjani in Adele H., Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Kathy Bates in Misery are sisters under the skin to Emily Fradenburgh as Jennifer Stidger in Nothing Without You. Eternally bug-eyed, she creeps through the film, wraith-like and haunted. She's obsessed with dapper yuppie councilman Michael Greenwood (Joshua Loren), who’s very much married to Denise (Kate Bringardner). When Denise is murdered, Jennifer is haplessly on the scene and therefore accused of the crime. It then becomes her quest to uncover who really done it and, in doing so, she confounds a hysterically inept police force and nearly brings down the whole town. (Shady politicians are at the bottom of things, no doubt.)

This psychological thriller takes itself so seriously, it rather works as a low-level yuk fest, with its strained plotting and hoot-inducing, overripe B-movie dialogue. “Our connection was like a fine of 21-year-old Scotch, opened under the nose of an alcoholic," observes Jennifer of her initial passion with Michael. But nothing, really, can save this been-there, seen-it, done-better cinematic dog's dinner. The feminine images it presents—from Fradenburgh’s maniac to the unnecessarily bloodied and brutalized corpse of Brindgardner—are far from salubrious.

Fradenburgh, however, is intense, obviously feeling every twistedly rapacious fiber of her character, but her misplaced seriousness is risible: she begins to bear a strong resemblance to some demented younger sister of Amy Poehler. One scene, wherein she makes a calculated, suddenly bedizened pop-up appearance for Greenwood, plays like a small tribute to Stella Dallas. Loren, on the other hand, is as slick as a Barney's window mannequin with about as much depth. Keith McGill plays Jennifer's black court-appointed psychiatrist as even denser than Montgomery Clift in Suddenly, Last Summer, reacting with indefatigable, fresh horror to every unseemly revelation. Quite similar to the eternally kind Dr. Hibbert on "The Simpsons," he contributes nearly as much doleful hilarity as Fradenburgh, but it is Will Crawford who's the real scream as a baffled police lieutenant, barking out lines like, "Let's ping the cell phone number now and saturate the area!"
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

War Story
Film Review: War Story

Infuriatingly slow, enervating and basically empty contemplation of war's impact, and a waste of the formidable talent of a gallant Catherine Keener. More »

Happy Christmas
Film Review: Happy Christmas

Joe Swanberg's latest feature is a collection of strong individual scenes and performances that never quite finds its statement of purpose. More »

Very Good Girls
Film Review: Very Good Girls

More of a meandering, misguided path than a road to hell, Naomi Foner’s directing debut, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as 18-year-old BFFs, is similarly filled with good intentions. More »

The Kill Team
Film Review: The Kill Team

Marine Adam Winfield goes on trial in a case in which U.S. soldiers murdered innocent Afghanis. Strong subject marred by poor narrative choices. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Get On Up
Film Review: Get On Up

Chadwick Boseman is sensational in this multi-faceted portrait of troubled, pioneering soul-music giant James Brown. More »

Guardians of the Galaxy review
Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

With Marvel’s backing, cult filmmaker James Gunn blasts off for the stars and takes audiences along for a wild, funny ride. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here