Sundance Review: Fay Grim
by Alex Billington
January 24, 2007
The proclaimed sequel to Henry Fool, Fay Grim focuses on the character of Fay Grim, portrayed exquisitely and glowingly by Parker Posey, the character of which is a regular American woman with good intentions. She is confronted by a CIA agent (Jeff Goldblum) about a series of books that her missing husband Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) published. It's truly a mysterious thriller, but also has lightly comical undertones and wonderful eccentricity from Posey. The film is a peculiar mystery of intelligent guise as intriguing and unique in its portrayal as the amazing independent film Brick; with twists and turns and utter extravagance every step of the way.
Fay Grim is comprised entirely of really skewed "Dutch" angles - always off kilter in every single shot. To some, this can be annoying, to others, including myself, I found this fascinating. The angles weren't so much that you would tilt your heard while watching, but were rather composed so that the scenes were much more dynamic; after a while you won't notice that it's an off-angle, but will still find the look very unique. Another great feature in Fay Grim is its constant snappy, witty lines rattled off at blazing speeds all amongst over-exaggerated acting. Even director Hal Hartley mentioned before the film started that the lines are fired off quickly and it may be hard to keep up. However, the story lost its quirkiness that it had in the beginning and became an internationally out of hand destruction at the end - just too much of a difference from the previous scenes that it pulled me out of what I had enjoyed previously so much.
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