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'God Bless America'

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Reviewed by Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

God Bless America

Festival Favorites
D: Bobcat Goldthwait; with Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr

Bobcat Goldthwait is on to something in his latest film as a writer/director. His hatred of the crass dumbing down of America is palpable in every frame of this film. Reality shows, two-faced blowhards, and their corporate sponsors are all in his crosshairs – quite literally. In the Q&A following the movie, Goldthwait described God Bless America as a "violent movie about kindness." As the film opens, Frank (Murray) is fired from his job and is rudely rebuffed by his daughter, who lives with his ex-wife. Next, his doctor informs him that he has a terminal disease. Frank's fantasies of murder turn real as he embarks on a one-man killing spree, that is until he's joined by teenage Roxy (Barr), who is even more bloodthirsty than he. Although several great speeches and hilarious one-liners goose the film, God Bless America nevertheless peaks too early and becomes rather one-note. It's a good note, but it ultimately has a clanging effect.


Saturday, March 17, 11:45pm, Alamo Ritz

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