“Sophie Jones”Opens on its title protagonist, performed by Jessica Barrwhereas twiddling with a bag of cremated stays. She rubs the ashes between her fingers, revealing a bit of fragmented bone that she experimentally lifts to her mouth to style. Dangerous thought. She spits it out and places it again in her pocket.
That is the darkish, charming nature of this coming-of-age movie that was shot from debut movie Jessie Barr (Jessica’s cousin), the star’s co-writer and director, and government producer of Nicole Holofcener. Like a youngster herself, “Sophie Jones” is simply as maudlin and comfortable, simply as indulgent and self-deprecating. Though the movie is often distracted by flowery set items, the general image is a refreshing, deeply human meditation on ladies, intercourse, and grief.
The movie takes place shortly after Sophie’s mom’s funeral in her junior 12 months of highschool and ends simply earlier than she leaves school. Within the wake of her grief, Sophie tries to distract herself by assembly boys with out emotion. In these relationships, and in all of her interactions with family and friends, Sophie controls a continuing push and pull with vulnerability. The ash-eating incident units a precedent for this: Sophie needs to really feel near her mom, however she does not The shut down. She needs to snicker about blowjobs together with her greatest good friend, however she does not wish to hear this good friend’s issues. She needs intercourse to be meaningless, nevertheless it simply is not.
Director Jessie Barr illustrates every of those contradictions with care and poor judgment in order that Jessica Barr’s efficiency can utterly spherical off the character. Within the palms of a much less skilled actor, Sophie’s many improvised quirks and caustic remarks might make her insufferable, however Jessica Barr transforms this character into one thing actually particular. On the coronary heart of the movie is that timeless teenage foible – the idea that the world is spinning round you, and the ensuing fallout if it seems to be not. However even when Sophie acts like an asshole objectively, Barr performs her with robust humanity. She has wonderful chemistry with everybody on display, particularly Claire Manningtaking part in her greatest good friend and Skyler Veritywho performs their primary love curiosity. The world might not be about Sophie, however this movie is actually in regards to the genius of Jessica Barr. Sophie could also be afraid of vulnerability, however Barr delivers a daring efficiency that undoubtedly defines the movie.
That is undoubtedly additionally because of Jessie Barr’s naturalistic orientation and an equally playful solid of supporting characters. digicam operator Scott Miller Captures each image in smooth, subdued tones – a shamelessly female aesthetic seems right here, however luckily no pandering or no posture. There are not any strains that spotlight the gender double requirements of sexual promiscuity. Jessie Barr trusts the viewer’s intelligence sufficient to have the ability to think about these nuances for ourselves.
There are some moments when the movie exams the boundaries of its indie, notably a scene the place Sophie and her sister take inventive photographs with the sympathy flowers despatched after their mom died. On the entire, “Sophie Jones” is strictly what it must be: a peaceful, good movie, elegant in its smallness. Within the overcrowded indie coming-of-age subgenre, “Sophie Jones” makes a modest, trustworthy contribution. Which is strictly what it needed to do to face out from the countless grandeur and quirk. [A-]
“Sophie Jones” not too long ago had its world premiere on the Deauville American Movie Competition.