Princess Cyd Screen 86 of 11 reviews

Princess Cyd

2017

Princess Cyd Poster
  • If Princess Cyd evokes Rohmer on the whole, from moment to moment it more closely resembles the work of another major French filmmaker, André Téchiné (Hôtel des Amériques, My Favorite Season, Thieves, The Witnesses). Cone's use of music and camera movements add a romantic aura to the story, inviting viewers to savor details of character and setting . . . And like Téchiné, Cone establishes certain mysteries about his characters that he purposely never resolves.

  • One of the things "Princess Cyd" does really well is gently allow for the space that opens up between people—and in that space everything is okay . . . Perhaps to those more accustomed to the peaks and valleys of plot/conflict/climax, "Princess Cyd" will seem too leisurely. But its leisurely quality—its disinterest in "pumping" things up, its focus on the small yet vivid spaces of listening, understanding, struggle, identity—is its greatest asset.

  • Stephen Cone is uncanny with actors, generally, but he and Jessie Pinnick have created something special with Cyd. Pinnick reminds me of Adèle Haenel, a fascinating and disruptive presence in any image. Cyd is only beginning to understand the power (in so many senses of the word) of her body, and Pinnick likewise commands scenes in a physical, seemingly effortless, unconscious way... It's tremendously exciting to watch. My favorite performance of the year.

  • Stephen Cone is one of the best American (independent) filmmakers working today, one of the few who can write and direct naturalistic dialogue and who can command an ensemble cast gracefully — and each character no matter how small, matters as much as anyone when they're on screen. His subtle, modest use of fundamental film form to bring out his characters and their inner worlds is effortless and masterful.

  • Intellectualism, spirituality, and sexuality, none of which are mutually exclusive, coincide in this most moving film. The undervalued director confers a frank grace, letting each of these ideas collide and tangle, and rest among themselves—an exemplary feat of cinema, and one that ought to extend to the world.

  • The drama arises from clashes in the duo’s odd-couple sensibilities, but Cone, a deeply empathetic writer, cares too much for these characters to reduce them to sparring generational clichés; they feel like real people. I can think of no higher compliment than that the film’s warmth and generosity reminded me of the late Jonathan Demme.

  • Unlike some glossy, veneered coming-of-age films, Princess Cyd is imperfect. In its latter parts the pacing occasionally falters and there is never quite the expected crescendo to the narrative, which may in part be due to the fact that Cone has stated that he favours mood over action in his films. This becomes part of its appeal. Cone’s latest film does not aspire to say huge things, but it is a generous, warm and emotionally intelligent portrayal of female friendship across ages.

  • A strange combination of over- and under-achievement. In certain respects, writer/director Stephen Cone infuses this coming-of-age tale with more ideas and details than are strictly necessary... Princess Cyd could have attracted a niche following with considerably less effort, and less curiosity about the specifics of family relations in particular, and the fact that certain aspects of the film don't quite gel is no reason not to see it. This is a film guided by the proverbial "still, small voice."

  • There’s traumatic violence at the fringes, but unlike Party — which deflated when it was time to resolve things — Cyd stays loose, and often very funny, until the very end. Cone teaches acting, and his performers are uniformly operating at the level of rhythmically unexpected seeming-spontaneity at its very best, an illusion that never comes off as too thespian-ish.

  • When Princess Cyd comes to a scene of violent confrontation, Cone lingers only long enough to show a few frames of hands on a throat, and in a way his aversion to high-pitched conflict is as radical as Nathan Silver’s compulsion to goad, irritate, frustrate, and confound... It’s a movie I felt tenderly toward even as I couldn’t help but wish Cone was willing to draw a little blood, but then maybe he wouldn’t be himself if he did.

  • These plot developments grate largely because of how much of Princess Cyd otherwise gels. Narrative simplicity and low-simmering drama might not always be considered virtues, but here, whenever the plot ever so slightly thickens and the ensemble grows, it’s hardly as revelatory as two people chatting in a backyard.

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