SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

My Effortless Brilliance

D: Lynn Shelton; with Sean Nelson, Basil Harris, Calvin Reeder

Successful author Eric (Nelson) is dumped by his old friend Dylan (Harris) and told that "you've always been an asshole." Two years later and clearly the words still sting as Eric visits an unexpecting Dylan at his cabin in the woods. As the visit turns into a drunken weekend, the males bond, unbond, and bond again in compelling and elusive ways. There is little shouting or confrontation, but the largely improvised script and Shelton's camera, which peeks through branches or windows from a distance, let the talking to do the talking. Reading between the characters' lines sheds a modicum of light on their relationship – past and present. The awkward silences and, later, the well-timed comedic jabs between the two feel natural and show off the mixture of comfortable acting and laid-back direction that make this character study so watchable.

Thursday, March 13, 1:30pm, Alamo Ritz

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