While no ones idea of an action film, Andrew Bujalskis Beeswax feels less charmingly aimless than its radically slight precursors Funny Ha Ha (2002) and Mutual Appreciation (2006). Have Bujalskis feckless characters joined the workaday world? As its title suggests, Beeswax has a mild buzz of businessand busy-ness. This loose, low-key, unaccountably fascinating movie has no particular sense of place. There are few establishing shotsBujalskis setups are dictated mainly by his characters relationships, most crucially that of the thirtyish twins played by actual twin sisters Tilly and Maggie Hatcher. Beeswax was inspired by the Hatchers, whom Bujalski has known for a decade, and their on-screen interaction (slightly infantile, a touch tense) imbues even the most ordinary activities with a strong behavioral subtext. So does Tillys being in a wheelchairmuch of the movie is casually concerned with the nuts and bolts of her daily existence. Theres also Maggies unexplained breakup with her boyfriend, and Tillys deteriorating situation with an estranged business partner, which prompts her to reach out for legal advice to a former boyfriend, played by Alex Karpovsky. Bujalski has always been good at portraying intimacy and social discomfortmaking closeness feel exotic, and awkwardness seem natural. And though theres nothing labored about Beeswax, it gives the impression of something being worked outeven while its happening. Calculated spontaneity is this talented directors greatest gift.
Sept. 11-17, 2009