Damsels in Distress

2011

Comedy / Drama

Synopsis


Uploaded By: Gaz
Downloaded 17,182 times
September 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

Director

Cast

Greta Gerwig as Violet
Adam Brody as Fred Packenstacker/Charlie Walker
720p 1080p
749.99 MB
1280*688
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 2 / 8
1.51 GB
1920*1040
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 2 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by IDwasTaken 8 / 10

Witty, quirky, and funny...and that's just the characters

Few films recently have been able to capture my imagination like this one. With the glut of comic book films and remakes, very few people are making original films. I was not expecting much going into this film (I saw it at a festival). In fact I had not planned on seeing it, but it seemed "different" enough to warrant a watch. Well, I went in not knowing what to expect and came out with a big grin. I was happy I gave it a shot and was surprised by the other comment on here.

If you want to see something original, that has some break out actors, and is funny, then check out "Damsels in Distress." Days after I left the screening, I kept thinking back on the funny lines and comically earnest characters. Go in with an open mind and come out with a grin.

IMDb does not allow 8.5 stars, but that's my verdict. This goes into the category of films I'll be watching again once it hits the theaters.

Reviewed by Richard Burin 9 / 10

A triumphant return for the great Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman is back. The writer-director of Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco was thought to have retired, his career having not stirred since 1999. But no. Apparently he's just been writing scripts that no-one would fund. Until this one.

Damsels in Distress is a college comedy about a group of girls – all named after flowers – who spot vulnerable new additions to the roster and try to help them, through their Suicide Prevention Centre ("They say with illness, prevention is nine-tenths the cure. With suicide, it's actually ten-tenths.") There's no counselling or medication, just free doughnuts, unlicensed aromatherapy and tap dancing. This being college, and this being Stillman, plenty of the story also regards romantic entanglements – with frat boys, a "playboy-or-operator-type" and a Spanish religious zealot.

The film is brimming over with that unique, hilarious Stillman dialogue we've been missing for the last 13 years: cool people "lacking humanity", confusion over the spelling of the name "Zorro", and references to a time before anyone "started being nice to weird and unpopular kids". He's a wildly subversive writer, with a distinctive and fiercely individual viewpoint, seeing everything from a fresh angle. In Metropolitan his characters criticised "public transport snobs" who wouldn't take taxis, called socialist philosophers "patronising" and pontificated on the discreet, oft-overlooked charm of the bourgeoisie. In Barcelona, the virtues and vices of American imperialism were dissected in typically offbeat fashion. And in The Last Days of Disco, Stillman suggested the death of Bambi's mother was a formative incident for an entire generation that consequently embraced animal rights. It makes you think that Stillman would make one hell of an essayist. He's certainly one hell of a filmmaker. Here he offers an absurdist take on pushy parents and laments the degeneration of homosexual culture, from Wilde to macho posturing.

As always, he gives his characters absurd, unforgettable back stories. In the past we've had a supposedly gifted student fail a crucial exam because a girl kept snapping her bra strap, and the tragic tale of Polly Perkins, which shed light on the many wrongdoings of Metropolitan's heinous Rick von Sloneker. Here there are several, including those of queen bee Violet (Greta Gerwig), slickster Charlie and the blank-faced Thor, who's going to "hit the books really hard" in order to learn his colours. Stillman makes much in his films of affectations and the projected image and there are big lies again here, as Stillman returns to his favourite theme: the search for identity and a purpose in life. These are characters in flux: they change and solidify before our eyes. And then, quite often, they pair off.

It's hard to describe the plot. Really it's the antithesis of formula filmmaking: novelistic and unpredictable, with constant diversions and twists you can't anticipate, as in real life. And in a sense it is like real life, only with better dialogue and a taste for the fantastical. Stillman has always had a delightfully unselfconscious fondness for dancing. His films have had limbo competitions, "bible-dancing", a formal dance and an entire film based around disco, with a climax set to Love Train, in which people shimmy along a train carriage. In Damsels, all Gerwig wants to do in life is help people – and start an international dance craze. Her unskilled jaunt down a dorm room corridor is a highlight, before the film passes into genuine musical territory, exploding into an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza for its closing five minutes. Fittingly, the number Stillman chooses, Things Are Looking Up, is one of the loveliest from A Damsel in Distress - the 1937 Fred Astaire film. Leaping into musical territory is a filmic trick that can go very badly wrong, but it's done with such sincerity and such a genuine love for the genre that it's a move of complete inspiration.

The cast is largely excellent. Gerwig was a heroine of the "Mumblecore" genre before her break-out performance opposite Ben Stiller in Greenberg. Speaking in that curious way common to all the director's central characters and asked to essentially carry the film in an extremely tricky part, she's absolutely magnetic: juggling conflicting, contrasting character traits from one moment to the next, as her character variously finds and loses herself, helps and hinders others and may be either a life-saver or a joke. Analeigh Tipton plays Lily, who, as a new addition to the group, is forced to wrestle with their peculiarities, whilst negotiating a love life that sees her periodically deceived, confused and asked to have sex in an uncomfortable way. It's another busy part and she's fine in it. It took me a little while to acclimatise to the English Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), but she, erm, grew on me increasingly throughout the movie. The fourth member of the group, Heather (Carrie MacLemore), a principle-light dummy, seems a strangely conventional part, at least on first viewing, but MacLemore tackles it with gusto.

The performances from the men aren't as uniformly strong. Adam Brody is good as strategic developer Charlie, and Billy Magnussen makes an amusing idiot, but Ryan Metcalf – as the blue-eyed, fairly unattractive, fairly unintelligent Frank – is a touch inconsistent, and Hugo Becker isn't great as Lily's unconventional Latin lover. Perhaps the best of the bunch is Zach Woods in a cinematic first: the Chris Eigeman character not played by Chris Eigeman.

I like Whit Stillman more than any other modern filmmaker: for his glorious dialogue, challenging, surprising worldview and superbly-drawn characters. On a first viewing, Damsels is a worthy addition to the canon, with the slightly underwhelming digital visuals quickly forgotten thanks to an engrossing, meandering story, superb work from Gerwig and a script that has more great lines than anything I've seen so far this decade. But who watches Whit Stillman films just once? Barbarians, that's who. It's only repeat viewings that will reveal the precise depths of Damsels' myriad charms.

(Even longer review is on the blog.)

Reviewed by ColbertoReporto 10 / 10

It's kind of like

Mean Girls' older sister that went to college, got an awesome biting, dry sense or humor; and got some wicked analytical skills to go along with it. This was just such an adorable and intelligent movie, both extolling the virtues of the undergrad experience while simultaneously panning it. At first, the movie may lose you with its irreverent randomness and quirkiness. Personally, I recommend at least one re-watch, to which it will become more clear and you'll be able to appreciate it more. This movie is one of those movies that has near unlimited replay value so that should be quite easy to do. Although nearly everyone was perfect in their roles, Greta Gerwig as Violet stands out. She's just pseudo deep in a sarcastic spirit that is tough to pull off while acting. The male characters are well done also but play in the background, which is actually kind of refreshing since many movies like this fall victim to sexism, or at least "boy craziness" of the presumably straight female characters. Overall, bravo, brava for this example of a deep, "slow-moving" comedy aimed at us young folk... not many like it these days.

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