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(aka "Nate and Margaret" )

 

directed by Nathan Adloff
USA 2012

 

Nineteen year old gay student filmmaker Nate's (Tyler Ross, THE WISE KIDS) best friend is fifty-two year old spinster waitress/struggling stand-up comic Margaret (Natalie West, LIFE SENTENCE) with a coffee mug fetish who lives in his apartment building, and most people mistake her for his mom. Together they troll Goodwill stores and coffee shops, ride bikes, and banter over take-out. When his schoolmate Darla (Gaby Hoffmann, VOLCANO) introduces him to Jason (Conor McCahill), Nate - never having been in a relationship before - is overwhelmed and starts to neglect his routines with Margaret. When Margaret finally catches the attention of talent agent Gregory Maddock (Charles Solomon Jr., THE CHANNELLER) after hearing her brand of domestic violence humor (her abusive childhood having soured her on family and relationships), but can this odd couple face their new challenges without leaning on each other?

On the surface, NATE & MARGARET seems like a HAROLD AND MAUDE for the quirky, "adorkable", hipster generation, and the film is more than a little precious at times; but the film sculpts a believable portrait of such insulated friendships - the type which some of the audience probably experienced at younger ages than the protagonists - with all its reassurances as well as its potential to alienate outsiders (although here, it seems that there are some interlopers who should be shut out). The inevitable bust up between the two characters in order to show them trying to navigate life on their own is a little contrived, but the scene is well-played (and seemingly the result of multiple takes of the actors verbally pummeling each other). The film stumbles at the end by cutting away from their individual meltdowns to "three months later" where the two characters have started to find their voices, but the feel-good cliches work because of the performances. West - the resident repressed doormat of TV's ROSEANNE - keeps her socially-awkward character from being off-putting and her stand-up scenes are quite suspenseful, while Ross is believably naive and overwhelmed (McCahill's performance borders on caricature, but he gets better as the character's jerky side reveals itself as the film progresses).

Eric Cotenas

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DVD Review: Breaking Glass Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:19:30
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Picture-in-Picture Commentary with director Nathan Adloff, and actors Tyler Ross and Natalie West
• Audio Commentary with director Nathan Adloff, and actors Tyler Ross and Natalie West
• Audio Commentary with director Nathan Adloff, cinematographer Brian Levin, and production designer Chelsea Warren
• Audio Commentary with director Nathan Adloff and writer Justin D.M. Palmer
• Audition Tapes:
• - Conor McCahill (4:3; 8:52)
• - Tyler Ross (4:3; 6:09)
• - Tyler Ross with Steve Lenz (4:3; 5:32)
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 2:20)
• 5 Deleted Scenes (16:9; 4:19)
• 2 Outtakes (16:9; 7:48)
• Short film UNTIED STRANGERS (16:9; 3:38)
• Photo Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:51)
• Trailers for GONE, HOUSE OF BOYS, and THE CASSEROLE CLUB

DVD Release Date: 28 August 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

There's nothing to complain about the Breaking Glass' A/V rendering of this Red One-photographed feature, and the dual-layer disc is typically stuffed with special features (perhaps overstuffed for the casual viewer but probably fully comprehensive for a fan or an indie-filmmaking hopeful). The picture-in-picture commentary with director Nathan Adloff, actor Tyler Ross, and actress Natalie West is a separate encoding of the film with video of the participants watching the film superimposed on the bottom third of the image (the audio commentary with the three is the same track heard over the main encode). West is a bit more subdued than Adloff and Ross, so the picture-in-picture commentary is a bit more representative of her responses to the project. The other tracks feature Adloff discussing the shoot respectively with the film's production designer and cinematographer.
 

Three audition tapes are included, with the director reading various roles off-camera to actors McCahill and Ross. The third excerpt is interesting for featuring an audition by an actor (for the James chracter) who didn't make the cut and seems to have not been involved in any other fashion with the film. The behind the scenes segment is a silent montage of the shoot with a deleted stand-up routine as the only audio. The outtakes section features a couple gaffes, but is made up more appropriately of unused angles and variations on scenes in the final cut. The short film UNTIED STRANGERS is the origin of the scene from Nate's student film that we see him directing in the feature (with different actors). The film's trailers and other Breaking Glass release trailers round out the package.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Breaking Glass Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 

 




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