Donald Cried Screen 81 of 9 reviews

Donald Cried

2016

Donald Cried Poster
  • A perfect illustration of Freud’s links between jokes and the unconscious—or just why it sucks to go home—Kris Avedisian’s debut feature is essential post-holiday viewing... Whether Peter deserves this torment for his boorish headbanger past, or whether he’s truly moved on from being a selfish prick, is left unclear. It’s painfully funny to observe, even if you might have committed similar sins.

  • Donald Cried, Kris Avedisian's debut feature presented in the Cineasti del Presente section, is nothing short of brilliant in that it literally illuminates the murkiest aspects of a corrupted yet most intense friendship. It is around this noblest bond, increasingly subjected to the fluctuations of the stock market of human relations, that the director builds a tragicomedy of metrical perfection. One where visceral laughter and bitter tears spread out of each other.

  • Because Donald is so over the top, the cringe-factor of awkward moments is mitigated slightly, allowing the scenes to open up into frequently hilarious moments as Donald wheedles Peter into a trip down memory lane.

  • In Avedisian’s turn there is a heartfelt longing for companionship and a sincere need for self-preservation that speak to both an internalized vision of the character and a tightly executed screenplay with honest twists. Working on a tale about unwanted reconnection, co-scribes and leads Kris Avedisian and Jesse Wakeman have created an awkwardly touching hangout picture.

  • The movie ought to be insufferable... That’s not to say, however, that condescension is on Avedisian’s agenda. By casting everything in a sharply naturalistic light in order to ground them firmly in a recognizable real world, he shows a sincere interest in trying to understand these people, and maybe even implicating us in the process. Like any person worth knowing, warts and all, the more we get to know Donald and Peter, the more affecting the film becomes.

  • Throughout the film, which develops over the course of one snowy day, Peter depends on Donald to drive him around Warwick, but Donald keeps sidetracking him with visits to old high school haunts. It all sends Peter hurtling deep into the darkness of his own questionable personal history, in an uneasy comedy/drama that upends the conventions of homecoming movies.

  • In his emotionally astute debut feature, Donald Cried, Kris Avedisian anatomizes a type of encounter that's much more common in life than in movies: an awkward reunion between two long-estranged friends that unearths a complex mix of guilt and shame in the one responsible for the estrangement... [Donald Cried remains] resolutely realistic while mining plenty of pathos, humor, and drama from the situation.

  • The boundaries between cringe-inducing humor and serious danger define the strange alchemy of Donald's insuppressible attitude, which deepens as the movie goes on.

  • The man-child/straight man dynamic feels secondhand until fairly late in the going, when Peter, not long after having finally thawed a bit, abruptly ditches Donald to pursue a romantic opportunity with his real-estate agent (Louisa Krause, who’s consistently a joy in tiny parts like this one). The emotions this betrayal inspires are raw enough, on all sides, to make one wish the film as a whole were less cartoonish and more nuanced, so that its finest moments wouldn’t feel quite so out of place.

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