Wednesday, 20 February 2008

GFF Review: In Search of a Midnight Kiss - by Robert Duffin

Director: Alex Holdridge
Screenwriter: Alex Holdridge
Running Time: 90 mins
Certificate: TBC

It was my Edinburgh Film Festival “one that got away”, and tonight the GFF finally afforded me the opportunity to see Alex Holdridge’s acclaimed In Search of a Midnight Kiss, and it was certainly worth the wait. The film follows failing screenwriter Wilson (Scoot McNairy) whose life is crumbling before him, and after one particularly embarrassing situation (caught masturbating over photoshopped pictures of his best friends girlfriend), he is determined not to spend New Year’s Eve alone. Using the Internet he meets up with Vivien (Sara Simmonds); a chain smoking, vodka slugging, man hater with a jilted ex on her case. Somehow, these two social misfits find solace in one another and it results in a bittersweet delight of a film.

The crisp black and white photography on digital is a wonder, capturing the smoggy atmosphere of La La Land refracted through derelict theatres and open rooftops. LA has never looked this good before. McNairy and Simmonds have a delicate chemistry that plays well whether they are sharing jokes or revealing their true fragile selves. Their interplay, guarded and cynical at first but slowly melting into heartbreaking emotional dependence is beautifully written, as is the films dark humour and playful banter. In a period where ‘American indie’ has become more of an aesthetic than an ideal, In Search of a Midnight Kiss is truly the best of its kind I’ve seen in years.


Joseph Wren said...

So surprise that I overheard GFF director Allison Gardner saying that it's her favourite of the festival. I wish there were more films like this.

Sandra said...

Shit! Wish I had seen it. Hope fully Shotgun Stories will be good this afternoon.