In Review: Austin Film Festival 2013

November 3, 2013


The Austin Film Festival recently wrapped, and so now I’m here to give you a quick rundown of what I was able to see.  Unfortunately, this year I had a variety of conflicts with a lot of screenings (in particular, 12 Years A Slave, Nebraska, Mandela), which means that instead of a double digit amount of reviews, I’m only giving you seven.  Blame Obama.

Circle The Wagen

There’s nothing particularly interesting or special about Circle The Wagen, and yet I still found it to be one of the more enjoyable documentaries that I’ve seen in 2013.  I guess I’m just a sucker for two dudes in a dilapidated VW Bus (nicknamed The Croc) trying to make their away across the country.

A Birder’s Guide To Everything

This was the best movie that I saw at this year’s Austin Film Festival.  It’s a wonderful coming of age story that’s funny, charming, and sincere.  Also, I’d recommend watching it just for Kodi Smit-McPhee, who is very good in the film.

Jack, Jules, Esther, And Me

A coming of age movie where no one actually comes of age?  No thanks.

Inside Llewyn Davis

The Coen Brothers new film is a tough one for me to comment on, as I really feel like I need to see it another time or two to fully wrap my head around it.  With that being said, I did like a lot of the movie.  The music is well done, Oscar Isaac turns in his best performance ever, and the cinematography is stellar.  On the flip side, there’s a few times where the film’s pace slows to a crawl, and the ending isn’t exactly satisfying.

The Pretty One

The premise for The Pretty One sounds creepy – a woman assumes her twin sister’s identity after she dies in a car crash – but it’s actually a quirky, light-hearted film that’s centered around very charismatic performances from Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson.  See it whenever you get a chance.

Last I Heard

There’s a lot to like in Last I Heard, but you should make an effort to see it solely because Paul Sorvino steals scene after scene as a former mafia boss who has been released from prison because he’s dying.  I wanted to hug him after the movie wrapped.

Mystery Road

Mystery Road is a movie that I really wanted to like, but I just didn’t have the patience for it.  Ivan Sen’s direction is so intricate and intimate at every turn that the film actually becomes less entertaining as it goes along.  Also – and I totally understand that this is such a lame reason to not like something – I had a difficult time working my way through the cast’s variety of thick Australian accents.


One Response to “In Review: Austin Film Festival 2013”

  1. Ryan Steven Green Says:

    As Director of Circle the Wagen, I just wanted to congratulate you on one of the most entertaining reviews of the film we’ve received thus far. So honest! I can dig that. Not only that, but there is the ring of truth to your assessment, and I myself might even feel akin to the way you do about it (granted, it’s near impossible for me to have an honest assessment of the film after having shot, written, edited, etc, etc, etc the thing!).


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