I love a movie that I cannot classify. That so few of them exist is a sad testament to how hidebound cinematic storytelling has gotten (maybe always was). This strange and wonderful Everyone’s Going to Die: Is is a romance? No, except maybe in a platonic way. Is it a crime flick? Kinda almost but not really. Is it a black comedy? I suppose that genre description comes closest, but what to make of how unexpectedly touching it is between all the oddly funny bits? On an ordinary day in an English seaside town, immigrant Melanie (German star Nora Tschirner, who is a bit Felicity Jones-ish) is contemplating the falling apart of her relationship with the artist she changed countries for; and Ray (Rob Knighton, making his acting debut at 50something; he’s a bit Mads Mikkelsen via a Guy Ritchie movie) is contemplating giving up a dodgy line of work that forces him to inform his boss, mid-assignment, “I’m not shootin’ anyone.” This superlow-budget movie — it was reportedly made for £65,000 — isn’t much more than two wounded people meeting by chance and spending a day together talking about how messed up their lives are, and how they should be figuring out how to fix that… and it’s sort of exhilarating. One scene consists of a long uncut closeup on Melanie’s face as they chat, not even head on, but a sneaky side view, as if we’re eavesdropping as they stumble across some potentially useful wisdom for themselves. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that the unknown number of writers and directors who made this film call themselves “Jones” and go otherwise anonymous; it’s a bit self-consciously Banksy-esque, and to what end? But their movie is a breath of fresh air, a loosey goosey shake-up of convention, off-kilter and unbalanced in the best way.
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