'Small Apartments'

Daily reviews and interviews


Small Apartments
Narrative Spotlight
D: Jonas Åkerlund; with Matt Lucas, Juno Temple, James Caan, Dolph Lundgren, Billy Crystal

Franklin Franklin's (Lucas) life is in a rut, even if it is an unusual rut: Practice alphorn, check the mailbox in tighty-whities, listen to daily audio cassette sent from brother in the loony bin, eat pickle with mustard, repeat. But when "dispose of landlord's body" is put on the to-do list, things go haywire quickly. Director Åkerlund comes from a music video background, and it shows. The colors are saturated, and the camera flashes quickly forward and back through time to help us understand how Franklin got in this predicament. The characters and the shooting style seem made for one another, but over the course of a feature, the effect wears thin; by the hyper-colored denoument, it barely registers. Lucas is cast perfectly as the underdog you can't help but root for, but the real standout is the muted Crystal, playing a small but pivotal role. Åkerlund should have trusted in his lovable cast rather than relying on camera tricks and surrealist touches to keep the audience's attention. But the movie stays on the rails, and the ride is bumpy but worth it.

Friday, March 16, 7:15pm, Stateside; Saturday, March 17, 3:30pm, Alamo Ritz

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Go For Sisters'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Robert Faires, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'The Punk Syndrome'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Patrick Courtney, March 15, 2013

More by James Renovitch
Dave Chappelle to Do Three Shows at Stubb's
Dave Chappelle to Do Three Shows at Stubb's
Tickets are on sale now and will go fast!

Nov. 13, 2020

So You Want to Vote
So You Want to Vote
A flowchart to help guide you through mail-in ballots, voter registration

Sept. 4, 2020



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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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