Anna Hopkins and Michael D. Cohen should have starred in a 20-minute short.
IT WAS YOU CHARLIE (Emmanuel Shirinian). 80 minutes. Opens Friday (August 15). Rating: NN
I will say this: It Was You Charlie looks frickin' gorgeous.
Shot by ace cinematographer Luc Montpellier, whose films include The Saddest Music In The World, Cairo Time and Take This Waltz, this is a film of splendid, textured images. Interior shots are beautifully lit; exterior shots are expertly composed and organized.
The rest of the movie, though? It's kind of a mess - a mopey, sluggish study of a suicidal doorman named Abner (Michael D. Cohen) burdened by a couple of years' worth of painful memories and an inability to follow through on ending his life.
There's a reason for Abner's suffering, and it's squeezed out with methodical, self-serious slowness by writer/director Emmanuel Shirinian, who's convinced he's building to a twist no one will see coming. Except we all see it coming, because it's staggeringly obvious, and the movie takes forever to deploy it because there's maybe enough story for a 20-minute short.
I enjoyed seeing Aaron Abrams display his range as Abner's younger brother, and Emma Fleury makes a nice debut as a sympathetic cabbie who keeps trying to get Abner to open up. But they're bright spots in a very dull package.