If this year’s inaugural Sundance London can be accused of exporting some of its US counterpart’s more underwhelming films, then Ry Russo-Young’s dreadful Nobody Walks (2012) has to be considered the main offender. Every stereotypical American indie trope and cliché is present and waiting before being promptly flogged to death, leaving behind a hollow, vacuous shell that epitomises style-over-substance filmmaking. Martine (Olivia Thirlby), a 23-year-old visual artist from New York City, arrives in Los Angeles to stay with some arty, wildly privileged family friends in the hip and hilly community of Silver Lake.
Elsewhere, Krasinski (recognisable to UK audiences for his role as Jim Halpert in The US Office) blunders his way through the film, seemingly unsure of whether he’s bored, horny or a mixture of the two. His clumsy performance is most exposed in a dinner table scene taken straight out of Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right (2010), attempting – yet failing – to put on a brave face whilst everyone around him is giving the old ‘gooey eyes’ to each other.
Sundance has long been a superb exponent for new American independent talent, but the festival programmers undoubtedly dropped the ball with Nobody Walks. Beneath its visual sheen and attractive cast lies a dull, mawkish indie-by-numbers that has somehow bluffed its way to the big time – in retrospect, a 90-minute cut of Martine’s ultra-pretentious insect installation piece would have been the lesser of two evils.
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