I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Is she in pain? Or is she a lying, conniving bitch? Her state of mind only matters to the degree to which it makes a man have feels, so, you know, *blergh.* Frank & Lola, the first feature from writer-director Matthew Ross, makes it a matter of suspense just what the heck is going on with Lola (Imogen Poots: Green Room) when it comes to her relationship with Frank (Michael Shannon: Midnight Special): the movie never calls into question his violent jealousy, merely examines how justified he is in it. (Perhaps someone should have suggested to him that, at 15 years his junior, she is simply too young to make a good partner for him.) Ridiculous coincidence drives the plot: the fact that Shannon is a hot restaurant chef is meant to justify getting him from Las Vegas to Paris at the drop of a hat, for one; later, Frank is suddenly an expert in forging handwriting. But it’s the film’s reliance on outdated notions of gender expectations and terrible ideas about the realities of women’s lives that make it such an infuriating experience. (It never seems to occur to Frank, never mind Ross, that a woman who has once had consensual sex with a man can also be raped by him.) Ross — who previously made a short entitled “Inspired by Bret Easton Ellis,” which could well be the title of this one, too, with its casual misogyny layered over emotional immaturity — wants this to be a neonoir sorta-thriller that creates tension around the supposed indistinguishability of a woman suffering and a woman manipulating. Really? These things look the same? Ugh.