SXSW Film Review: 'Arlo & Julie'

No need to puzzle over whether to see this charming feature

The titular quirky young couple is on the receiving end of one of the most literally puzzling series of mail deliveries ever.

Arlo and Julie start receiving puzzle pieces in the mail – first one or two, then more and more each day – from an unknown address in Mexico. At the risk of spoiling any of the film's fun, we'll say no more about the plot itself other than this: The final picture only unfurls another mystery, and the truth behind the sender is ultimately stranger than fiction.

Alex Dobrenko and Ashley Spillers are perfect for their title roles – as they should be, since writer/director Steve Mims reportedly wrote both parts with the actors in mind – and the supporting work from the rest of the small ensemble is delightfully charming as well. Shot on location in Austin, many of the sights are familiar to the modern ATX eye, but the lilting vintage soundtrack lends the film the perfect neo noir edge.

See our profile on lead actress Ashley Spillers, who also has a role in Alex R. Johnson's Two Step, in "Spiller's Guts," March 6, here.


Arlo and Julie


Visions, World Premiere
Tuesday, March 11, 7pm, Alamo Village
Wednesday, March 12, 4:30pm, Marchesa
Thursday, March 13, 2pm, Alamo Village

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Goes Down Under With SXSW Sydney
SXSW Goes Down Under With SXSW Sydney
Australian expo to be Austin brand's first licensed expansion

Richard Whittaker, June 29, 2022

Faster Than Sound: I Subscribed to the Austin-Based festivalPass and Felt Confused
Faster Than Sound: I Subscribed to the Austin-Based festivalPass and Felt Confused
Few discounts and few Austin options on new NFT-dabbling concert ticket marketplace

Rachel Rascoe, June 24, 2022

More by Monica Riese
A Paramount Slate
A Paramount Slate
Paramount and Stateside programming heats up

April 3, 2014

Board Games and More
Board Games and More
Announcements from the Austin Film Society

April 2, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

South by Southwest, SXSW, SXSW 2014, SXSW Film 2014, Arlo and Julie, Visions, World Premiere, Steve Mims, Ashley Spillers, Alex Dobrenko, neo noir, Austin

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle