My Old Addiction

Madeline’s Madeline (2018)

JOSEPHINE DECKER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.  USA, 2018.  , , .  Screenplay by , , story consultant , story editor , dramaturg .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , Josephine Decker, Elizabeth Rao.  Independent Spirit Awards 2018.  

Helena Howard in Madeline’s Madeline.

This riveting film is independent in multiple senses of the word, revolving around the troubled mind of the titular character, a young woman who has sought refuge from a turbulent home life in the rehearsal rooms of an experimental theatre group.  Her mother (Miranda July, who is marvelous) has a hard time accessing her daughter’s mental state without breaking out into her own frustrated bouts of rage, so Madeline (a superb ) gets more than just creative freedom from her rehearsals with ‘s troupe; as the work progresses and a tension builds between these three women, centering on the control of both Madeline’s life and narrative, it creates problems both for home life and the work they are doing.  Told in bold strokes that cut through narrative expectations without ever isolating the audience or emphasizing any pretentious levels of confusion, this film is one of the most original and vibrant works to come out in a very long time.

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