My May ’15 in Review

So I’ve become infatuated with East Asian cinema as a whole. As my viewing blanket has begun to cover the vast likes of classic and contemporary Japanese and Korean cinema, the rest of the month was still peppered with several worthwhile new releases and a colossal, curiosity-quenching failure. Keep an eye out for a weekly log chronicling my ongoing East Asian endeavor along with the return of other preexisting features. In the meantime, I thank you for reading and urge you to comment on whatever you’d like!



Results (Andrew Bujalski, 2015)

I’m no stranger to the wonders of the effectively subdued “mumblecore” mold of low-budget, character-driven filmmaking. Results – as comparable in formula as it may be – forgoes typically aimless and nameless for the palpably opposite. Focusing on fellow (bickering) personal trainers and coworkers Kat (Cobie Smulders) and Trevor (Guy Pearce), the duo’s lives are increasingly upended by the reeling portly Danny (Kevin Corrigan): a recently rich beneficiary with money to burn and no clue how to burn it. Viewing health as a viable option, Danny’s involvement with Kat graduates from professional to tenuously personal – much to the chagrin of the ever-eyeing Trevor.

For as subdued in tone as Results is, the film uniquely and thoroughly dissects the quandary established throughout these individuals’ evolving relationships. It deftly traverses a path of imminent and calculated turbulence, from Danny’s first peculiar meeting with Trevor (“I want to be able to take a punch,”) to the unfailingly awkward Kat-conducted training sessions inside his eerily vacuous mansion. Their interplay is frequently subdued and trivial in an authentic sense, of which remains an appealing attribute throughout this exclusively character-driven affair.

To those who appreciate Bujalski’s approach, nuanced unpredictability does more than the most convoluted of comparable efforts does nowadays. It’s ostensibly a brooding romantic comedy in the grand scheme, yet Results easily thrives thanks to its characters’ distinct personalities and the efforts of those who portray them. These individuals’ lives are thoroughly dissected enough for us to grasp who they are, why they’re doing what they’re doing and formulate an opinion of all if only to be surprised or underwhelmed.

As a characteristically low-key if discernibly more accessible effort from Bujalski, Results is alternately concise and complex in examining the three conflicted individuals at its core and the chemistry to follow. For as reductive as it sounds, it’s a film about people being people – something that’s intent on evolving specific types of individuals in potentially relatable situations for involvement’s sake. Excitement is sparse for sure, however Bujalski’s whip-smart observational touch does wonders for the proceedings as character development and interplay trump convolution.