Monday, July 22, 2013

AMERICAN MARY Spoiler Free Review

 Jen and Sylvia Soska's second feature American Mary lives up to the hype that's been building over the last several months. Let me just get that out of the way right now. Before beginning this review, I was doing a little internetting and noticed that Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB had American Mary getting roughly a 60% rating on both sites. This gave me pause. I needed to find out exactly why this, one of the better films I've seen in a while, wasn't scoring higher.
Rotten Tomatoes seemed to think the acting was uneven and the climax a let down.
Well allow me to retort.  Katherine Isabelle (Mary Mason) and Tristan Risk (Beatress Johnson) are absolutely magnetic and surprising throughout the film. Isabelle carries the movie with a deftness you'd expect from a seasoned actress, giving an emotional gravity to her scenes that help keep the more outlandish moments focused and real. The supporting cast is constantly confounding your expectations as they evolve throughout the film, practically no one is who you expect them to be. And in the midst of the sex and blood, we look into the misunderstood/marginalized world of
body modification and find humanity where we would normally see a freak show.
American Mary is about class and gender struggle and about how the only true freedom is forging your own path, creating your own you, and defying the world's expectations as often as possible.
The only criticism I want to offer is that I wish there was MORE. Mary Mason's story was exciting and The Twisted Twins introduced many great characters that I'd loved to have seen more of. The only way the climax was a let down is that it came too soon.

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