Films: Audrey the Trainwreck

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Audrey the Trainwreck

Audrey the Trainwreck

USA, 2010, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Program: New Directors Showcase
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Frank V. Ross
Producer: Adam Donaghey
Screenwriter: Frank V. Ross
Cinematographer: David Lowery
Principal Cast: Anthony Baker, Alexi Wasser, Danny Rhodes, Joe Swanberg, Jess Weixler

Don’t hold your breath waiting to encounter the namesake of Frank V. Ross’s Audrey the Trainwreck—she never appears. Of trainwrecks, however, there are plenty—above all our antihero, Ron (Anthony Baker), who fumbles angrily through his daily routine at a job he tells himself is tolerable but that deep down he hates. The alternate title of this offbeat comedy is These Things Happen in Threes—so when the movie starts with two frustrating accidents that highlight Ron’s propensity toward selfishness, the question becomes not only when the third will happen but how Ron will react.

Complicating matters is Stacey (Alexi Wasser), whom Ron meets through an Internet dating service. Stacey, like Ron, yearns to do something more—but unlike Ron, she has concrete plans. On their first date, she tells Ron that she hopes to go back to school at some point; Ron, in a typical moment of insensitivity, tells her that higher education is pointless. But despite Ron’s negativity, he and Stacey find something unique in each other that they struggle to put into words. They both see the trainwreck that will crush them if they fail to change their courses, yet they dread leaving the immediate comfort of routine. In a series of awkward vignettes, from baby showers to card games to recreational volleyball, Ron and Stacey struggle to understand a world colored by the seeming happiness of their friends and coworkers.

Accompanied by a smart jazz score by John Medeski that mirrors the bouncing, up-close and intimate camerawork of cinematographer David Lowery and marked by a satisfying ending that is sure to surprise, Audrey the Trainwreck is a challenging yet rewarding character sketch with an endearingly genuine performance by Anthony Baker.
—Mark Mañago

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