My Art Screen 6 articles

My Art

2016

My Art Poster
  • Fans of the transcendently acerbic Posey will be particularly dismayed by her insultingly underwritten two-scene role as Tom's hysterical wife Angie, decked out in a grotesquely unflattering peroxide-blonde fright-wig. Given the casting, the premise, and even the title, My Art could have played as a spiky satire puncturing art-world pretensions in the vein of John Waters' superb Pecker. All the more unfortunate that Simmons' approach should be so lacking in irony, wit and basic raison d'etre.

  • A highly flawed picture that has enough particular moments that it can qualify as a “Sort Of” movie. That is, it’s sort of funny, sort of charming, and sort of insightful. But it’s also consistently stilted—the respected artist Simmons penned the screenplay, plays the lead role, and directed, and she probably ought to have left that last task to someone with more vigor in that area.

  • Because Simmons never really elaborates on Ellie's life and aesthetic ambitions beyond suggesting that the woman seeks to escape from a reality that has her struggling to keep up with the times . . . , these recreations end up feeling superficial. And since the reason for why Ellie is working on this specific project remains ambiguous, it's as if Simmons merely wishes to see herself in other people's films—which makes the possessive title My Art something of a paradox.

  • Ellie’s return to New York—despite the success of her project, and despite her clear solidarity with other women artists—feels somehow sad and depleted. The scenes upstate, on the other hand, are magical, full of music and a liberating fluidity of identity, though not without a little danger and risk to give the proceedings weight.

  • Simmons doesn’t reveal much about Ellie’s process or her ideas, but she looks closely at the connections between life and work—the web of relationships, as well as the time, the money, and the sheer ornery determination. The result is a frankly practical look at professionalism and its blurry borders.

  • I fell for Simmons's characters, the gardener Frank and unconscious father/friend John, both for their shabby and sincere ways. They are both laugh out-loud funny and revealingly sad. Because Simmons doesn't patronize, she makes them more sympathetic and heartbreaking, She brings them in on the joke. The glamor that could make us forget our daily lives, played by the all-too-real actors, only reminds us of our own vulnerability.

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