Home Performing Arts ‘Beginner’s Guide’ A Good Start For GenArt Film Fest

‘Beginner’s Guide’ A Good Start For GenArt Film Fest

(L-R) Harvey Keitel, Jonathan Sobol and Jason Jones

One of the movie’s great strengths is its dialogue. This is a family that doesn’t mince words, and they ‘re very comfortable taking low shots at each other on a regular basis. It serves to demonstrate how close they truly are, and how much they stand to lose if and when the looming tragedy should strike.

It is, however, a comedy, so don’t expect things to get too out of hand.

Structurally, the three roads (one for each brother) split apart rather than come together, at the climax.  Each is off doing his own (potentially disastrous) thing.  Now’s the time to bring up the fact that luck (good or bad) is a recurring theme in the picture. The father had a long history of gambling, and gambling poorly. ‘Nuts’ once made a career of fixed fights. The only real flaw here is how big a factor luck plays in the climax.

We should want our heroes to succeed through their wits, or hard work, or skill. Their choices should decide their fates. A deus ex machinaending for one seems unlikely. Three of them at once strains belief.

Still. I maintain that the movie works. Sobol plays with expectations sharply, including characters like an articulate and jovial murderous thug. Such gems deserve your attention.

When it hits theaters later this summer, I suggest you check it out. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll have a great time.   Jonathan Sobol knows his craft and it shows.  I look forward to whatever he comes up with next.

GenArt does indeed play throughout the weekend into next week. The full schedule can be found here.