'Francine'

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Francine

Emerging Visions
D: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky; with Melissa Leo, Keith Leonard, Victoria Charkut

Despite being an acutely observed portrait of a woman, Francine curiously raises more questions than it answers. Filmmakers Cassidy and Shatzky, making their narrative feature debut after directing several documentaries, bring their observational skills to the fore as they home in on Francine, who has just been released from prison for a crime that's never specified and returns to a rural bungalow (in an unspecified locale). She embarks on a series of jobs, all of them around animals, and she appears to have more connection to these creatures than to humans. Francine is clearly damaged, but we never learn the cause. Because Francine is portrayed by Melissa Leo, one of the most brilliant of all contemporary actors, this unhappy character is complexly moving and enormously compelling. Naked in a prison shower in the film's opening scene, Francine clearly does not shy away from exposure, yet this gripping character consistently resists full revelation.


Thursday, March 15, 7:30pm, Violet Crown

READ MORE
More SXSW Film
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Improvement Club'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Robert Faires, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Marjorie Baumgarten, March 15, 2013

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Richard Whittaker, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'This Is Where We Live'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Joe O'Connell, March 15, 2013

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
The Infiltrator
Bryan Cranston takes on a drug cartel in this ho-hum thriller

July 15, 2016

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble
The director of Twenty Feet From Stardom does another music doc

July 8, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Film, Melissa Leo

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)