Kid’s-eye view of a constant state of emergency

In this week’s Village Voice J. Hoberman reviews Benny and Josh Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs” (2009), which, as you’ll recall, was my favorite narrative feature from the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival. Indeed, I liked it so much that I ranked it #4 on my list of the top 10 movies that screened in Madison more than once over the course of the past school year.

Hoberman’s take on the film’s protagonist, Ronald Bronstein’s Lenny (not to be confused with his girlfriend, Leni), is pretty harsh, almost unsmiling; put simply, Hoberman seems to have been much less amused by Lenny’s various parental screw-ups than I was. Yet, he also seems to have found an especially spacious room in the film via forehead-slapping observation of Lenny’s bad behavior that I myself wasn’t able to spend much if any time in: the psychological—or, more precisely, psychodramatic—dimension of “Daddy Longlegs,” the discreetly raw dialectic formed by its 9-year-old adults and 40-something toddlers.

Keep your fingers crossed that “Daddy Longlegs” gets released on DVD some time in the next few months. It definitely deserves to be revisited.

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