SXSW Film Festival Movie Review: LIKE ME

Writer/Director Robert Mockler's feature LIKE ME calls for a bit of a different review.  After all, this film is all about a girl who buys into social media so much that she completely forgets how to connect with people.  Given that this causes her to kidnap someone and go on a weird spree, I think anyone watching this would agree that a traditional review just will not do this justice. 

As such, let us go a different route.  First of all, do me one favor, DO NOT CLICK LIKE ON THIS REVIEW.  Let's not perpetuate this reliance on social media.  I will very quickly know who actually bothered to read this just by whether or not they clicked like (ooh, social experiment!). 

I know, this is weird, but it is very much in the spirit of this movie. 

How, one might ask? 

Well, you see, this piece is all about obsessing over social media.  The thrust of our action is an artist who posts a video online and suddenly has a lot of people reacting to the footage.  When someone calls her out, in a way that hits too close to home, she decides she must somehow connect with an actual person. 

While this may seem like the stuff of a cerebral, introspective drama, they never quite take events in that direction.  Instead, we are offered a kidnap movie where she slowly befriends the older man she has ensnared.  Their time together is a highlight of this piece as their relationship is constantly switching from touching to combative.  The performance given by Larry Fessenden is one of the best I have ever seen him give and fans of his should run to check this out. 

Addison Timlin is no slouch herself as she perfectly embodies a young, obsessive woman who is trying to figure out her place in life.  The first portion of the feature has her trying to listen more than talk, making her facial expressions our only window into her thought process.  As she begins to come out of her shell more, her range reveals itself through her vulnerability and uncertainty with human connection. 

All the while, she continues her artistic and online endeavors which allows for some truly stunning visuals.  In all honesty, the look of this alone makes it worth a watch as there are so many amazing lighting features, camera shots, and color schemes at work that it really feels like a moving work of art in and of itself.  From the crazy paintings in the room to the psychedelic drugged up sequences later in the film, this is a visual feast for the eyes that is sure to captivate.  

In a few recent reviews I have commented upon music, so I feel I must give just a moment's notice to the score.  This was an odd and engrossing soundtrack that drew me in right from the get-go.  Like walking through an art museum, the score tried on many different styles to varying degrees of success.  Some I am still hearing one day later, others, though, I don't recall as clearly, but either way I respect the approach taken as doing something wholly different is in short supply these days. 

Listen, this is a movie that has a little something for everyone so I recommend all to give it a view. It is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time with equal measures given to style and character development.  The performers are also at the top of their game bringing a lot of weight to this visually stunning journey of self-discovery. 

Once again, I want to stress, please DO NOT CLICK LIKE.  Instead see this movie and talk with someone about what it meant to you.  Create a connection, get out there, be with people and experience art at the same time. 

Nighty Nightmares,
The Creeping Craig