Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Rubberneck

Tale of romantic obsession trades nail-biting suspense for credible realism.

Feb 21, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1372098-Rubberneck_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A character-driven take on true-crime fare, Alex Karpovsky's Rubberneck marks a solid dramatic turn for a filmmaker best known for playing comedic parts in indie movies and on HBO’s “Girls.” Though not showy in any way, it could find enough support to justify a theatrical run.

Karpovsky plays Paul, a scientist who strikes up a conversation at a party with new co-worker Danielle (Jaime Ray Newman), winds up having a passionate night with her, and then finds her uninterested in further romance. Eight months later, Danielle's a cordial but impassive colleague and Paul's seething: sneaking glances at her constantly, bristling at the way she flirts with another man in the lab, occasionally needing to duck into the men's room for a gasping anxiety attack.

Though it's clear something bad will happen, Rubberneck doesn't play like a thriller, turning screws until someone breaks. Karpovsky and co-writer Garth Donovan take their time fleshing out Paul's character, from the abandonment issues in his childhood to the awkward ways he now seeks companionship. James Lavino's subtly effective score suits this approach, and doesn't go for broke even when things take their inevitable turn.

Once Paul snaps, Rubberneck breaks a sweat without really abandoning the thoughtful mood it has established. A sequence at the lab, with Paul pretending everything is normal while disaster looms, is especially involving. The aftermath of his breakdown offers surprises without exploitation, and resolves itself far more realistically than thrillers typically do.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Rubberneck

Tale of romantic obsession trades nail-biting suspense for credible realism.

Feb 21, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1372098-Rubberneck_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A character-driven take on true-crime fare, Alex Karpovsky's Rubberneck marks a solid dramatic turn for a filmmaker best known for playing comedic parts in indie movies and on HBO’s “Girls.” Though not showy in any way, it could find enough support to justify a theatrical run.

Karpovsky plays Paul, a scientist who strikes up a conversation at a party with new co-worker Danielle (Jaime Ray Newman), winds up having a passionate night with her, and then finds her uninterested in further romance. Eight months later, Danielle's a cordial but impassive colleague and Paul's seething: sneaking glances at her constantly, bristling at the way she flirts with another man in the lab, occasionally needing to duck into the men's room for a gasping anxiety attack.

Though it's clear something bad will happen, Rubberneck doesn't play like a thriller, turning screws until someone breaks. Karpovsky and co-writer Garth Donovan take their time fleshing out Paul's character, from the abandonment issues in his childhood to the awkward ways he now seeks companionship. James Lavino's subtly effective score suits this approach, and doesn't go for broke even when things take their inevitable turn.

Once Paul snaps, Rubberneck breaks a sweat without really abandoning the thoughtful mood it has established. A sequence at the lab, with Paul pretending everything is normal while disaster looms, is especially involving. The aftermath of his breakdown offers surprises without exploitation, and resolves itself far more realistically than thrillers typically do.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Film Review: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Venture inside the hallowed hallways of Japan's most prestigious animation studio in this insightful documentary. More »

Antarctica: A  Year On Ice
Film Review: Antarctica: A Year on Ice

Thrilling, award-winning New Zealand doc about the mysterious and forbidding continent at the bottom of the world is not your usual travelogue, but a surprising exploration of the human soul and human needs. Happily, adorable penguins and stunning visuals also get screen time. More »

Remote Area Medical
Film Review: Remote Area Medical

Doc offers in-the-trenches evidence of dire need in the U.S. health-care system. More »

Immortalists
Film Review: The Immortalists

Attention-grabbing subject meets colorful characters in this science doc. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Penguins of Madagascar
Film Review: Penguins of Madagascar

Frenetic vehicle for supporting players from the Madagascar films will entertain kids but prove a little wearying for their parents. More »

imitation game
Film Review: The Imitation Game

Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. 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