When I’m a Moth

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A fluffy little “What if?” of a movie that greets the viewer with a snarky, disjointedly tone-setting false equivalence disclaimer: “What follows is a work of fiction. So is the United States political situation.” I’ll play along. What if Hillary had not shrugged off 45 as a rival unworthy of her time? The horrible situation America currently finds itself in might never have spiraled this far out of control. We open with fish being gutted to a pensive score. The year is 1969 B.C. (Before Clinton) and by her own admission, Hillary Rodham (Addison Timlin) is in the cocoon stage of her predetermined path to politics. She’s only working the summer gig at an Alaskan tuna cannery to get her hands dirty. Seated before a cracked mirror, she writes home to mom and dad. There’s enough heavy-handed symbolism in this thin parable to satisfy even the most enduring members of the Soviet Film School. Cinematographer Lyn Moncrief’s sun flares and prismic opalescence combine to burn out the top half of the frame while rendering the bottom half artistically out of focus. Timlin is superb, capturing the voice and tenor of that moment when one’s life is wide open to discovery. The highlight of the film comes from watching Hillary eat a hot dog while reading Proust. The rest is a long, slow blur that gets tripped up in its own ambivalence. (2019) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 31 minutes
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