Thursday, September 27, 2012

Union Square (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway 

Union Square

"Union Square" by Nancy Savoca (Household Saints, Dogfight) puts us right in New York City. This is a quiet Indie that has its own quirk and motion and holds your interest throughout. Mira Sorvino plays Lucy, a hyper-sexed, vulgar-humored and very anxious lady who just happens upon her estranged sister Jenny (Tammy Blanchard) just by chance since her boyfriend dumped her.
This is a tale of two sisters and I found most of it lively and entertaining.
The crass and earthy Lucy barges right into Jenny's monastic New Age apartment. And she spreads right out almost refusing to remove her shoes. She immediately asks for a drink and puts on a loud Housewives reality show. Although this might seem like a Saturday Night Live skit, and indeed is at times, the film has enough natural momentum to be very life-like.
Lucy just will not get the hint to leave and the somber and outwardly calm Jenny is too Zen to give her sister the heave ho. There is comedy here in seeing just how far the garish Lucy will go.
High drama begins when Lucy blurts out to Jenny in the wee hours that their mother is dead, three years after the fact.
"Union Square" has plenty of apprehensive tension. At first you don't know what is going to happen or who is going to come knocking. A black poodle on a white sofa? Horrible Tv? A long lost sister who intends to be a squatter and ruin a vegan Thanksgiving? Oh No!
The film just loses a bit of steam when it evolves into the austere Jenny trying to rescue Lucy. Lucy attempts to jump and she cries and hollers. In these episodes, the film forgets its fast paced rhythm and almost becomes mush.
But yet again, with yet another impromptu visit, the story regains its quirky engine.
Union Square's strength is its dialogue, its quirky happenstance and its on target awkwardness in conversation between two sisters who regard each other as The Other.
This is a facile and simply told film that is mostly light on its urban feet. And it is worth a look the next time you cross your own cinematic intersection.
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