August 01, 2019
Bria Vinaite again proves her star quality in this earnest coming-of-age film co-scripted by Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil
Balance, Not Symmetry review – Biffy Clyro art-school drama topples into cliche
There are moments you may have to bite your lip very hard to stifle harrumphs of exasperation watching this drifty on-the-the-fly Glaswegian indie drama about a young woman grieving for her dad and struggling to finish her art-school graduation show. Written by director Jamie Adams in collaboration with Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil – whose band provides the soundtrack – the whole thing has the tentative, incomplete feel of an improv actors’ project.
BlacKkKlansman’s Laura Harrier gives a blank performance as Caitlin, an American-Scot who grew up in New York but is studying art in Glasgow. The film begins with her dad’s funeral, after which Caitlin hastily heads back to college where she shares a flat with her fun-loving best friend Hannah (luminous Bria Vinaite from The Florida Project). In the studio, Caitlin is trying to find her voice as an artist, so naturally there are plenty of scenes in which she stares frowningly at a blank canvas. Worse are the deep conversations about art that may make you feel like you’re trapped in the corner of a party at 2am by a guy with merlot-stained teeth: “I don’t want it to look like art. I want you to walk past it and feel something raw.”
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