Skip to main content

MIFF 2017 review SHUT UP ANTHONY


2017
Directed By: Kyle Eaton
Starring: Robert A. D'Esposito, Katie Michels, Jon Titterington

We've all had a moment where we just didn't know when to stop. When we've said too much, not taken the time to read the people we are interacting with, and just refused to get out of our own way. Anthony perpetually lives in that moment. His anxiety causes him to spew information all over the people he crosses paths with and letting words out seems to be something of a pressure relief. The only problem is the tool he uses to avoid anxiety creates situations that are highly uncomfortable and induce more anxiety.

After being fired and dumped in quick succession Anthony heads to his family's remote timeshare to get some time alone. Much to his surprise he finds an old family friend Tim, a college professor who has a predilection for straight vodka at 2 in the afternoon, in the house. The two men are clearly using their families secluded co-op to avoid their current situations.

Robert A. D'Esposito injects his portrayal of Anthony with enough humor and humanity to make what could be an incredibly jarring character compelling. Its that performance that enables us to pull for Anthony. We want to see him succeed in the long run, but in the immediate future we would really appreciate it if he would just learn to keep quiet.

I've seen comparisons to CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM when reading up on SHUT UP ANTHONY. And while I understand how some people could see Anthony as a more grounded version of Larry David, I think the comparison is a bit misleading. SHUT UP ANTHONY is something closer to REAL LIFE or MODERN ROMANCE, both Albert Brooks films that walk the line between comedy and drama. Kyle Eaton allows the characters in his film to have poor judgement, self destructive tendencies, and to be motivated by insecurity and necrosis. Its the flaws in Eaton's characters that elevate his material to something truly special. And in turn Eaton has made a deeply effective comedy/drama that never sacrifices one for the other.

Early in the film we see an argument between Anthony and his girlfriend that could have been easily avoided. She simply wants him to travel, take a trip, spend time with him, and he won't listen. He makes excuses and talks his way out of a relationship. Its a frustratingly honest scene that feels far too real not to be based on some truth. Starting this film with this scene is a perfect litmus test. It lets you know pretty quickly if this is a film that will work for you. If you enjoy more rooted and adult oriented comedies that are more concerned with character than cheap gags, I'd highly recommend checking this one out.


SHUT UP ANTHONY will be screening at:

Massachusetts Independent Film Festival - Friday, August 25 @ 6:15pm

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99