The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival


W-D: Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore; with Michael Rapaport, Jack Kehler, Alexandra Holden, Paul Blackhorne

Since his screen debut as one of the young leads in the 1992 indie film Zebrahead, Rapaport has been relegated to the sidelines as a supporting actor in most of his subsequent work (his lead in the current TV sitcom The War at Home being the glaring exception). Thus his turn as Les, the central character in Special, is a welcome delight, for Rapaport's commitment to a role is total and all-consuming. This role requires him to go from meek meter maid to self-convinced superhero who can teleport himself through walls and telepathically read people's thoughts. Some of the film's best moments involve Les' demonstration of his new powers to others who are unable to witness anything but his vociferous claims. Les' delusions are the adverse result of a drug test gone awry, and about midway the film adopts a more sorrowful Flowers for Algernon tone, but this low-budget indie remains nevertheless "special." – Marjorie Baumgarten

10/21, 9:45pm, Dobie; 10/25, 7:30pm, Drafthouse Lake Creek

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