After an hour of ridiculous love scenes with the likes of adult-magazine starlets Victoria Silvstedt and Carrie Stevens, we are thrown into an even more ridiculous stolen-$1-million/who's-scamming-who? story. By working in three plot twists at the end to ensure that no one understands what exactly went down, writer/director Masahi Nagadoi unfortunately makes one even more major mistake, failing to realize that we have long since ceased to care.
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Although propped up by the art house cachet of being part of the experimental Dogme95 minimalist cinema movement, the high school reunion dramedy "Reunion" cannot seem to escape the semi-stock characters and formulaic catharses that are par for the genre course.
Reuniting with their former teenage clique in Ojai, California, the half dozen 1981 graduates focused on by writer Kimberly Shane O'Hara and director Lief Tilden are seen largely though the eyes of Jeanie (Jennifer Rubin), an outsider that none of the film's group of friends recognizes from their teens. She had been an awkward wallflower in school, but has since blossomed into a confident, worldly coquette (and very unconvincing professional photographer).
Jeanie blows into town to exorcise some personal demons by revealing her successful adult self to those who once ignored her and by sleeping with the former school stud (Billy Wirth), who is now bitter about winding up a lowly bus driver -- and more than willing to oblige the off-kilter advances of this pretty, esoteric woman he doesn't remember at all as a girl.
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The '12 Years A Slave' director will receive the accolade at the London Film Festival in October.
Critics from all over the world were asked to name the best movie of the past 16 years.