TWO-BIT WALTZ (2014)
Starring Clara Mamet, Rebecca Pidgeon, William H. Macy, Jared Gilman, David Paymer, Matt O’Leary, Ella Dershowitz and John Pirruccello.
Screenplay by Clara Mamet.
Directed by Clara Mamet.
Distributed by Monterey Media. 79 minutes. Not Rated.
Sometimes a film can be rather shocking, when you consider the highs of the highs compared to the lows of the lows.
Two-Bit Waltz is the first film written and directed by 20-year-old Clara Mamet, the daughter of genius playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet and British actress and singer Rebecca Pidgeon. With the Mamet genes running through her, it is no big surprise that Clara has an impressive way with pithy dialogue.
If Two-Bit Waltz was all people sitting around talking, it might be a pretty terrific film. Unfortunately, the film also stops dead for a series of quirky, surreal “dream sequences” about people wearing animal masks and ballerinas and Shakespearean actors. These sidetracks almost completely derail the film, making it feel a bit like a Wes Anderson knock-off.
Mamet seems desperate to surprise and shock with her characters’ offbeat behavior, but all too often it skirts way past quirkiness into preciousness.
In fact, in a recent interview I did with the young writer/director/actress, she acknowledges this fault.
“[Dialogue] does come easily to me,” Mamet said. “I have trouble with the story much more. A lot of times I write a screenplay and it’s just sort of aimless words.” She laughed. “Nebulous, random nothing. So, yeah, I do have trouble with the story composition. That is something that I have to get better at.”
Yes, it is. However, she does show some real potential for such a young filmmaker. If she only decides to curb her more whimsical tendencies and maybe learn a bit of her dad’s quality for an interesting, labyrinthine storyline, Clara Mamet may become a talent to be reckoned with.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2014 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 5, 2014.