Posted by: kfugrip | October 14, 2007

Ninety-six: Broken English

There is a company that makes films that are released both theatrically and on DVD simultaneously. They have done a fistful of movies that I haven’t seen, Bubble, and Fay Grim, are on my list, and Broken English, written and directed by Zoe Cassavettes (yes, that Cassavettes), is the first by HDnet Films that I have watched. I know very little of the company other than the above mentioned marketing scheme, but they have made an interesting film.

Broken English is about Nora (Parker Posey) a lonely woman who sees all of her friends getting married and feels desperate for love. She meets a couple of men through the course of the film, one of which is a Frenchman. Nora loves the Frenchman and decides that she will go to France and find him, with her friend Audrey (Drea De Matteo).

What I liked: Parker Posey is fantastic playing against type in this film. Her character is written in a realistic and believable fashion. I cared about her, which is a great way to build a successful film, caring about the main character. The cinematography, for an HD film, was excellent. The close-ups, which are the bread and butter of dv films, were beautiful with modeled light. Part of that is Posey’s face, which has never looked better.

What I didn’t like: The Audrey character was at the center of most of my frustration, as was the fairly conventional story. De Matteo was doing the best she could with the role but I felt like the scenes with her were just opportunities for Posey’s character to spout off exposition. Audrey is the Doctor Watson of this film and I think that the the wonderful moments that Cassavettes has crafted in the life of a lonely woman are undercut by the naked exposition of the scenes with Audrey.

3 stars




  1. Another film that either Magnolia or HDNET Films (founded by the Mavs Mark Cuban) did like this was ‘Cashback’. You should watch that and let me know your thoughts. It’s got an interesting backstory, in terms of how the film was made. Give it a look. -kk

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