AFF 2008 Reviews
A Quiet Little MarriageD: Mo Perkins; with Cy Carter, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Charlie Day, Jimmi Simpson, Melanie Lynskey.
The young, mildly hipster, NPR-listening couple Dax (Carter) and Olive (Ellis) are in nearly every scene of A Quiet Little Marriage, which hums along on a central conceit: When Dax discovers a grand deception being perpetrated by Olive, instead of confronting her, he embarks on an equally devious strategy. The plot is a matter, then, of waiting to see who learns the truth first. But there's little suspense in this placid, lovely looking movie and not enough explained about the two main characters. Each is given one other person to talk to – an irresponsible, alcoholic brother for Dax and a near-mute elderly father for Olive. These supporting characters cause worry for Dax and Olive but don't provide any perspective on the happy-except-for-that-huge-lie couple. As a result, the film feels claustrophobic and a bit too thin to hold interest. A Quiet Little Marriage is meant to be a study of a relationship, not a revelation, although the ending holds an unexpected development that's pitch-perfect.
For more reviews (including Best Narrative Feature award winner Lost & Found) and festival coverage, see austinchronicle.com/pip.