Review: Ambition trumps coherence in 'The Scary of Sixty-First'

Review: Ambition trumps coherence in 'The Scary of Sixty-First'

$Alchemy_Keywords

12/3/2021 8:48:00 AM

Review: Ambition trumps coherence in 'The Scary of Sixty-First'

Dasha Nekrasova's debut feature features two acquaintances who move into a Manhattan duplex reputedly once owned by Jeffrey Epstein. The results are mixed.

.It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer level of ambition in writer-director Dasha Nekrasova’s debut feature, “The Scary of Sixty-First.” Shot on 16-millimeter film, the movie is partly a mumblecore comedy about self-absorbed 20-somethings, partly a series of riffs on bloody Italian “giallo” thrillers and Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” and partly — no kidding — a deep dive into the conspiracy theories surrounding the life and death of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

But grand ideas don’t automatically produce great cinema. “The Scary of Sixty-First” sprinkles a few funny lines and some striking images across its 81-minute running time, but it’s dispiritingly shaggy for such a short movie.Madeline Quinn (who also co-wrote the script) plays Noelle, who against her better judgment moves into a fancy Manhattan apartment with Addie (Betsey Brown), a casual friend she finds annoying. After an anonymous stranger (played by Nekrasova) shows up and claims the ladies are living in one of Epstein’s old sex dens, Noelle falls down a rabbit hole of “dark web” research while Addie starts behaving strangely, seemingly possessed by one of Epstein’s underage assault victims.

AdvertisementMark Rapaport has most of the film’s best moments, playing Addie’s oversexed, dim-bulb boyfriend, Greg. Some of the sharpest social critiques in “The Scary of Sixty-First” come via Greg, who represents a paternalistic society where men see their sexual desires as paramount. (When Addie has a nightmarish vision of one of Epstein’s creepy hot-oil massages, he responds, leeringly, with, “What kind of oil?”) headtopics.com

15 Oscar-Nominated Netflix Films to Watch Now

But after a promising opening, the plot goes in circles. The last half of the film mostly consists of repeated scenes of Noelle and the stranger walking around New York and swapping increasingly paranoid Epstein theories. And, back at the apartment, Addie speaks in a squeaky “little girl” voice and rolls around half-naked with children’s toys and pictures of some of Epstein’s famous friends.

Nekrasova takes some admirably big chances with “The Scary of Sixty-First,” such as daring to startle the audience with a scene based on Epstein’s death by strangulation and pushing multiple sex scenes beyond the boundaries of merely “transgressive.”But this boldness comes at the expense of coherence. This film offers a flurry of provocations and up-to-the-minute cultural references that never fully connect. It keeps coming to the brink of saying something clearly and furiously about sex, power and class before retreating back to the simpler path of raw shock value.

'The Scary of Sixty-First'

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

Video shows snow plow causing crash on Ohio Turnpike in Erie County

Video taken Sunday by a truck driver traveling on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County Monday shows a snow plow on the opposite side of the road causing a crash after throwing massive amounts of snow across the highway and onto passing vehicles. Read more >>

JazzPomegranate

‘Nightmare Alley’ Review: Guillermo del Toro Taps Bradley Cooper’s Dark Side in This Bravura Carnival NoirThe world is one big carnival, and we’re all just suckers — or “marks,” in the parlance of the traveling grifters so effective at fleecing those poor rubes who are not with it — in Guillermo del To…

EU regulator begins real-time review of Valneva's COVID-19 shotThe European Union's (EU) drug regulator said on Thursday it had started a rolling review of the protein-based COVID-19 vaccine from French biotech firm Valneva , weeks after the EU signed a deal with the company for supplies of the shot.

Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’: Film ReviewIn the second big-screen interpretation of the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham, a mind-reading showman meets his match in a high-society psychoanalyst. nelsonbello_ HighDefDiscNews I wonder if the comic book movie generation will turn out?

‘West Side Story’ Review: Steven Spielberg Gives the Musical Classic a Gritty, Rousing UpgradeDirecting his first musical, Spielberg moves into the big roomy space of a Broadway-meets-Hollywood classic, rearranges the furniture (the film’s screenwriter, Tony Kushner, has spiced up the dialo… Maria 'gets a spitfire upgrade'? 🙄🙄🙄 (the word 'spitfire' has a history of being used to stereotype Latinx women, like in the Lupe Velez films) God that is all true It was a masterpiece Seeing it again on Christmas Eve 😍 Owen: There was never an inch of feeling from the movie going public that the casting of Natalie Wood was regrettable as a latina and she was the commodity that propelled the film to box office glory and again as a NON musical talent made Gypsy one of the top ten hits of 1962!

National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Predictions: Netflix and ‘Licorice Pizza’ Could DominateNo more pencils, no more books… it’s time for the critics’ awards’ dirty looks. The first of the two most vital precursors of the awards season will be handed out – National Board… NBRfilm nyfcc 💚😘

‘Wolf’ Review: Clunky Identity-Crisis Drama Is Neither Fish nor FowlSpecies dysphoria. That’s what the professionals call the condition troubling Jakob (George MacKay) in “Wolf,” a shockingly dull look at a fascinating disorder affecting humans who believe they wer… Is this like cats but instead, the whole crew just didn’t get any sleep? Hey everyone it would be amazing if you could check out the track. Leave a like, comment, dislike, whatever you feel. We appreciate all feedback. If you're into it drop a sub. It helps us tremendously.