(above New Design High School)
Lower East Side
350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street
|8:30PM||Live Music by Snowmine|
|10:30PM||Q and A with filmmaker Alison Bagnall and star Greta Gerwig|
|11:30PM||After Party at Fontana's (105 Eldridge St. btwn Grand St. and Broome St.)|
The Dish and the Spoon (Alison Bagnall | Philadelphia, PA | 92 min.)
Over the last five years, Greta Gerwig has made her mark as one of the most promising young actresses to come out of American independent cinema. Even though she has since appeared in larger Hollywood projects such as Arthur, Gerwig hasn’t lost touch with her indie roots, as proven by her extraordinary performance in Alison Bagnall’s The Dish and the Spoon. In this dark, moody character study, Gerwig boldly plays against type as the romantically wounded Rose, a woman intent on seeking revenge against her unfaithful husband. As the movie begins, Rose tears down the highway and picks up a six pack, heading to an abandoned beach house to drown her sorrows. Once there, she encounters equally an equally downtrodden British teen (newcomer Olly Alexander), who has traveled to American to meet a woman only to find that she has abandoned him. United in their rage against the world, Rose and her new friend wander around Delaware, slowly developing a bond while Rose plots her revenge against the woman who seduced her husband.
Bagnall (a co-writer of Buffalo ‘66) maintains a tight focus on these characters, foregrounding the strength of the performances. Like a bleaker Before Sunrise, the movie takes the form of a delicate two-hander, but in this case a constant suspense hangs in the air. Will Rose fall for the young British loner, attack the target of her anger or return to home to her husband? It’s never clear until the final scenes, but Gerwig’s intense, committed embodiment of a woman driven by sheer rage and heartbreak provides the story with a remarkable internal engine.
At the multiplexes, romances have grown increasingly dry, overly sentimental and formulaic, a tendency that The Dish and the Spoon works against by maintaining a simple trajectory and ramping up the energy with Rose’s frantic demeanor. A scene in which she leaves an extended voicemail for the woman she despises veers from oddly amusing to tragic in a matter of minutes. With a single shot, Bagnall comes closer to emulating real life situation than any million dollar budget could possibly muster.
- Eric Kohn