Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
File this under “were it not for coincidence there’d be no story at all.” Two deaf children (Millicent Simmonds and Oakes Fegley), separated by five decades and both searching for the same thing, are flattened by a train of coincidence in this period(s) melodrama from director Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, Carol). Technically speaking, Haynes, clearly wanting to pay his respect to silent cinema, made the mistake of shooting the black-and-white flashback to 1927 in contemporary Panavision. And while Haynes' silent era sound mix was far more respectful of its period, the same rules clearly do not apply to the tone of his semi-audible ’70s. And for a film about the deaf community, there is enough rapid-fire verbal exposition doled out during the last ten minutes to make a sign-reader’s eyes smoke! There’s much in here — silent cinema, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, 42nd Street before its Disneyfication — that I enjoyed seeing re-created on film. Just not in this film. 2017.
- A near-deaf experience • November 1, 2017