Thursday, July 16, 2009
Paranoid Park. B
Gus Van Sant continues his string of dramas exploring the psyches of youths with 'Paranoid Park' a solid morality tale about a young skater named Alex (Gabe Nevins) who is faced with a difficult decision after a detective visits his school investigating the death of a security guard by Paranoid Park (the skate park for 'real' skaters, which in the end doesn't speak for highly for the public image of the skaters). The chronology of the film is mixed up, which adds a nice touch and keeps the viewer more in tune for what is an otherwise slow moving story. This is a bold human drama that deals with the deeper side of human guilt that most movies don't bother to explore. We can relate to Alex and how he feels, thanks in part to Van Sant's script and Nevin's quiet, but sound performance. This is a small movie. Its only real stars are Gus Van Sant and the DP, Christopher Doyle, whose work includes Jim Jarmusch's latest 'The Limits of Control,' M. Night's 'Lady in the Water,' 'The Quiet American,' which is based off a Graham Greene novel, and the lovely 'Rabbit Proof Fence.' The main flaw I had with 'Paranoid Park' was the final twenty minutes in which Alex stops narrating the movie and seems to sort of drift away. There didn't seem to be much of a punch for what is otherwise an excellent little drama.