Reporting Eric Henderson
“The dog ate my homework” gets a wryly navel-gazing, grad school spin in Nancy, Please (a film which, incidentally, boasts maybe my favorite title this year).
In Andrew Semans’ first feature film, Paul (Will “Not That Will” Rogers) is a Yalie grad student working on his doctorate thesis paper about Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit. The only problem is that he left his heavily-marked copy of the book at the apartment of his ex-girlfriend Nancy (Elenore Hendricks). And she doesn’t appear to be in a mood to return the tome and allow him to finish his work.
Or is that really all that’s blocking his academic progress? His current relationship with the forgiving Jen (Rebecca Lawrence) suggests that maybe Paul’s problem with women is just that: Paul’s problem.
All attempts Paul makes at reasoning with Nancy are met by equal parts silence and hostility, but the longer the stand-off goes between the two, the more it seems as though there’s a question of representation at work in Semans’ film. Could this whole drama, filtered through Paul’s eyes, be an attempt to validate to himself that the relationship was ready to end, though he doesn’t quite believe it himself?
Nancy, Please is an engrossing, alternately funny and horrifying dissection of academic self-involvement. Bring a pen, you’ll want to jot down a few footnotes.
Nancy, Please plays in Theater 1 at 9:15 p.m.
Other Highlights: Tuesday, May 1
Yojimbo. Toshiro Mifune holds court in this classic 1961 samurai action epic, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Never have shoulders seemed so emotive. (Theater 2; 4:30 p.m.)
Death of a Superhero. A boy turns his sad battle with Leukemia into a fantasy world, in which he’s a superhero doing battle with “The Glove.” My money’s on this being better than The Avengers. (Theater 4; 9:20 p.m.)
Sleepless Nights. For the last decade, France has been showing up the U.S. in extreme horror. Their action movies have been no slouch, either. Actor-director Frederic Jardin makes a bid to rock your face off. (Theater 3; 10 p.m.)
For more of the WCCO Movie Blog’s coverage on the MSPIFF, click here.