Minnesota and mumblecore. Like peanut butter and jelly (or, rather, like peanut butter and the roof of your cast’s mouth).
Local writer-director Peter McLarnan keeps his cards awfully close throughout The Sound of Small Things. Sam Hoolihan and Cara Krippner star as, well, Sam and Cara, a young married couple who are experiencing friction in their otherwise photogenically passive relationship.
The reason: Cara has suffered an accident that has left her deaf. Rather than learn sign language, she resorts to reading lips. And rather than tell her husband what happened that left her deaf, she withholds what one would presume would be crucial information from Sam.
McLarnan films the young, sometimes incoherent, usually tacit lovers with nice compositions that sometimes verge on preciosity. (More than once, I thought I was watching a viral feature film created by the insufferable indie-pop duo Pomplamoose.) And yet, there’s still something to be said for the sweetness of their performances.
What really distinguishes the movie from more overtly mumblecore-ish offerings is how much it foregrounds its delicate sound design, all in an effort to stress the “small things” Cara is doing without, and Sam could be accused of taking for granted (or, in the case of his frequent drumming, advantage of).
The Sound of Small Things plays in Theater 1 at 7 p.m. Director McLarnan will be present at the screening.
Other Highlights: Tuesday, April 24
The Collaborator and His Family. The divide between Israel and Palestine comes home to roost in this documentary about a family forced to relocate from Palestine over to Tel Aviv. (Theater 1; 5 p.m.)
Kids of Today. One of the most stylish-looking offerings today is this documentary look at French rock critic Yves Adrian. (Theater 5; 9:40 p.m.)
Kill List. A reprise of one of the most buzzed-about cult movies of the year, a U.K. shocker about hitmen who stumble into a job that they’ll wish they hadn’t taken. (Theater 2; 9:45 p.m.)
For more of the WCCO Movie Blog’s coverage on the MSPIFF, click here.