Audrey was produced by Alicia Van Couvering, who also produced the Narrative Feature prizewinner Tiny Furniture. Writer/director Lena Dunham stars as Aura, a recent film-theory grad, YouTube artist, and family black sheep who moves back into the Tribeca loft shared by her artist mom (bizarrely, like the subject of Marwencol, she photographs small-scale reproductions) and annoyingly graceful, accomplished younger sister. Aura takes a restaurant job, falls into ill-defined and ill-advised relationships with two dudes, and becomes obsessed with old journals documenting her mom's own lost 20s. Awkward sex and acute ego skewering ensue.
Indisputably autobiographical (mom and sis are played by Laurie Simmons and Grace Dunham, the filmmaker's actual artist mom and gazelle-like sister, and shooting commenced in the actual family loft), Tiny Furniture earned the 23-year-old Dunham comparisons to Woody Allen. She's a gifted comedian, eager to plum her insecurities over her imperfect physical appearance for both poignancy and laughs — I'm not sure I've seen a film so accurately and unblinkingly depict what it's like to feel unattractive.
Dunham's willingness to put it all out there both physically and emotionally may be tied to the fact that she's gestated her talent online (somewhat more accomplished than the character she plays, Dunham has produced and starred in Web series for Nerve and Nylon). Tiny Furniture is the "oversharing" impulse of contemporary Internet culture, embodied in cinema. SXSW may be the festival of tomorrow, but Dunham has made a film that's resolutely of today.
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