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Nobody Walks– Movie Review

Submitted by on October 20, 2012 – 11:39 amNo Comment

“Marriage is complicated,” one character tells another in Nobody Walks, the new feature from Ry Russo-Young and Lena Dunham. But it sure doesn’t seem that complicated here. The predictable, even artificial, story of a hot young artist disrupting a free-flowing marriage provides no great insight or catharsis. Some of the acting is great, and the film can be a sensory treat, but the unenthusiastic relationships at the heart of the story leave the audience feeling cold.

Martine (Olivia Thirby) is an experimental filmmaker who travels to LA to work with sound designer Peter (John Krasinski), staying in the pool house of Peter and his (older, wealthier) psychiatrist wife, Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt). Peter is smitten; Julie sees it, and gets too close to one of her patients. Meanwhile, Julie’s teenage daughter grapples with boys and a skeevy older Italian tutor.

There’s no real plot arc in Nobody Walks, because the characters don’t wrestle with obstacles; as soon as a boundary is drawn, it is crossed. Despite her insistence that she wants to focus on her film, Martine has hooked up with three guys in her first 48 hours in LA, including Peter. And about that- Peter didn’t seem to need much encouragement. By the time the whole family heads to a pot-smokin’, adulteratin’ house party together, I wondered how any of them could have been surprised by the outcomes.

Julie’s subplot with her patient is gripping by comparison. Justin Kirk steals scenes as a supremely confident, self-destructive writer; making no pretense about his boundaries, he goes after what he wants. In their relationship, we see the suggestions of a wider world and longer arc that has brought them to this point, and the external pressures that help push them together. The world of their relationship is clearly bigger than just what we see in the film.

Some of the best moments of Nobody Walks were of Martine and Peter exploring the wonderful world of sound design. It was genuinely exciting and surprising to see what they could evoke only with sounds: how a lemon being squashed slowly made me squirm, or other noises were sensual or soothing. As you might expect, it heightened the experience of the rest of the film’s audio landscape, be it a knife scraping a plate or a girl inhaling in a flannel shirt.

Did you see Nobody Walks? What did you think?

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