Pretty One (9/10)
small indie comes close to perfection. It’s a sweet story of a young
girl, Laurel, who feels unappreciated by the world and how she deals
with it and gets to really know herself, which is to assume the identity
of her twin sister, Audrey (who has left home to live in another city),
when she dies in an automobile accident.
Kazan, who made such a big hit starring in Ruby Sparks (2012),
which she wrote, gives a touching performance as the surviving twin
(well, she’s both twins but Audrey dies in the first 20 minutes). If
you’ve ever felt unappreciated this movie will strike home and it does
so because of Kazan’s performance.
not that easy to portray twins, but Kazan did it admirably. Explains
writer/director Jenée Lamarque, making her feature film debut, explains,
“During the scenes where the twins are having a conversation, Zoe would
always act with (her body double) Katherine Macanufo. We had about a
week of rehearsal before shooting where they worked together, so that
the audience could feel that connection across the split screen. Zoe
would act as one character first, then come back and replicate what
Katherine had done, and vice-versa.”
shots in which they spoke with each other, Lamarque used a technique
first tried at the dawn of the film age by Georges Melies, locking off
the camera and shooting plates, so half of the camera lens is blocked
the first time and the other half is blocked the second time. According
to Lamarque, it takes three times as much time to accomplish this than
if there were two actors involved.
performance pretending to be someone she is not and fooling those who
knew Audrey well is not the only one that stands out here. John Carroll
Lynch gives a touching performance as Laurel’s widower father who finds
it difficult to let her know how much he appreciates, relies upon, and
misses her. Jake Johnson winningly plays Basel, Audrey’s next door
neighbor and tenant. Audrey can’t abide him, but Laurel falls for him
and his unique humor.
an intuitive, sometimes funny and sometimes poignant, movie that is