The austere beauty of Never Steady, Never Still reflects the stripped-down lives of Kathleen Hepburn’s self-contained characters, who require little and ask for less. Judy (Shirley Henderson) has early-onset Parkinson’s disease, and only allows herself to express regret and disappointment at a mobility support group.
The wistful longing of discontented Japanese salarymen in Shall We Dance? is absent from the bracingly funny Oh Lucy! Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), an office lady tugging at her restrictive white collar, bubbles with anger and resentment.
Who knew Cate Blanchett wanted to be Tracey Ullman? That’s probably not the reaction director Julian Rosefeldt hopes will be stirred by this rigorous series of monologues, stitched together from more than 50 artistic and political manifestos and performed by Blanchett as 13 characters.
The exquisite discomfort of Donald Cried, Kris Avedisian’s bracing first feature, arises from the incompatibility of former best friends. Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) left Warwick, Rhode Island, for college. Donald Treebeck (Avedisian) stayed put, in mind as well as body.