Wetlands Screen 14 articles

Wetlands

2013

Wetlands Poster
  • Not that I'm a fan of bodily-fluid humour, but a scuzzy comedy with a punk spirit would at least be provocative; instead this goes for a hunky male nurse, loose strands like Mom's religious zeal or the bland best friend (guess they were stronger in the book), plus an upbeat pop rhythm that doesn't even try to be subversive. I was bored, cum-topped pizza notwithstanding.

  • By the time the screenplay finally gets around to looping Helen’s insatiable appetites back to an unresolved childhood trauma, Wnendt’s touch threatens to turn deathly serious—which sees Wetlands‘s climax simultaneously divorcing itself from the prior material, and also bringing the film’s buzzy pace and verve to a screeching halt.

  • Flattering the material immensely, the fearless Carla Juri adds soulfulness to Helen’s misadventures, most of which stem from an intimate shaving accident and an anal lesion requiring a hospital stay... Were it not for Juri’s commitment, you’d have the most disgusting movie of the year—it still may be that but not merely.

  • Wetlands might just be the most visceral film of the entire festival line-up, confronting its audience with a transgressive, but not aggressive, look at the reality of human bodies: they smell, they secrete, they want sex.

  • Leaving no bodily orifice — or fluid — unexplored, director David Wnendt and breakout star Carla Juri give full measure to the outre self-exploration of Roche’s literary alter ego, Helen Memel, while capturing the underlying sweetness that helped endear the character to millions of readers. Result is a spiky, smartly packaged commercial enterprise...

  • The narrative has a surprisingly conservative subtext – is Helen’s unusual relationship to her body really due to her parent’s divorce and mother’s neuroses? – but the film is entertainingly executed, especially by the (body)challenging performances delivered by Swiss-Italian Carla Juri as Helen and Meret Becker as her conflicted mother.

  • The narrative cleverly uses Helen’s unchecked fascination with bodily fluids to reveal how emotionally stunted she is at her core, the material’s inherent shock value supplanted by a greater human concern. The problem is that Wnendt’s execution isn’t nearly as admirable as his intent, the film bungling it’s obvious transition from the universal to the personal...

  • Wetlands is unnerving and uncompromising in its display of blood and other things that come out of one’s body. It might be one of the most disgusting films you could hope (or hope not) to see. But it also manages to be captivating and engaging, largely thanks to Juri, who exudes sweetness and sincerity. The film is practically made to order for a steady stream of walk-outs, but I also believe that its fans will be devoted and enthusiastic. I know that I am.

  • For all its studied raunchiness and underlying emotional grimness, Wetlands is irrepressibly breezy, both stylistically and in the way it presents its heroine... Still, Wetlands gets away with its somewhat self-congratulatory tone by casting Swiss actress Carla Juri, whose golden ingénue looks and mischievous smiles at once have you believing in Helen and at the same time serve notice that Juri herself is relishing the whole thing as a knowing romp.

  • Filmmaker David Wnendt creates this temporal interplay sensorially, linking memories of Helen's childhood and her teenage present, and seamlessly, as though they inhabited different zones of the same frame (the kind of whimsical strategy that could have rendered the child's perspective in What Maisie Knew believable). Wnendt exposes the way scenes from the past and present tend to distort and infect each other, unable to be catalogued impermeably in distinct parts of the brain.

  • Even if some scenes are tailor-made for John Waters’s scratch-and-sniff cards, the director, David Wnendt, has such an intuitive grasp of tone and commitment to his insouciant star that it’s tough to take offense.

  • I’m going to be upfront here: this is one of those movies that really make me resent having to give out star ratings... Even though “Wetlands” is absolutely, brutally unrelenting in its depictions of bodily functions and searching adolescent sexuality, it’s also an inventively sharp, briskly edited, spectacularly-acted post-adolescent coming-of-age story.

  • Wnendt’s filmmaking is showily energetic, giving old Trainspotting-style devices yet another go-round in a deglamorized context. These techniques are less irritating than one might expect, but the film’s gleeful defying of taboos would not succeed without Juri in the starring role. She brings a sly charisma to the film... Moment to moment she gives a brightly personal turn to material that could have easily felt like it was trying even harder than it is.

  • Wetlands reminded me of the scientists in A Clockwork Orange (1971), it tries to force our eyes open to the violence of the body. Ultimately, whatever disgusting thing is happening on screen, the real abjection is that this is a film that refuses its own fiction.

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