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

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Sake-Bomb'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Amy Smith, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Milo'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Marjorie Baumgarten, March 15, 2013

More by James Renovitch
A Game for Every Weirdo at Fantastic Arcade
A Game for Every Weirdo at Fantastic Arcade
Fest celebrates the outer reaches of video games

Nov. 17, 2017

ACL Festival Transportation Guide
ACL Fest Transpo Guide
Minimize the hassle of getting to and from the fest

Oct. 3, 2017

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)