Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress


Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews Damsels in Distress, beloved indie director Whit Stillman's first film in more than a decade, in today's Washington Times:

There's only one way to classify a Whit Stillman movie — and that's as, well … a Whit Stillman movie. Despite his widespread influence on a generation of indie filmmakers, no one else makes movies quite like Mr. Stillman.

Indeed, "Damsels in Distress," the director's first film after a long hiatus, suggests that even Mr. Stillman no longer makes movies quite like he used to. "Damsels," about a trio of young women who set out to reform the boys at an East Coast college, is sillier, shallower and altogether lighter on its feet than his early films.

Yet despite the differences, it remains recognizably a Whit Stillman film, albeit of a different weight and flavor. "Damsels" is a funny, entertaining, affecting trifle, but a trifle all the same.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Greta Gerwig, the leading actress of a sub-sub-genre of film-making that strives to present the actors in way so they seem like they aren’t acting. Gerwig is so successful at not seeming like an actress, it’s safe to assume she really isn’t one at all.

    Mumblecore, the afterbirth of the bastard hate-child of Dogma 95 and maninstreaming of “indie” film called The Sundance Channel.

    1. I saw that one movie of hers where she keeps moving from boyfriend to boyfriend in her office. I think you were supposed to hate her by the end, and I did, so maybe she’s a good actress?

  2. Knowing only the title, my first assumption would be that it’s simply another boilerplate rom-com, some small-town-girl-makes-it-in-the-big-city flick . . . something Reese Witherspoon might be in, and something I would no desire to see. To learn that it’s actually one of these silly coming-of-age indie flicks doesn’t improve the odds that I’ll see it.

    The weekend, my money goes to American Reunion. I’m about due for some humor involving bodily fluids.

  3. OK wow that actually sounds like a very good idea dude. Amazing.

  4. Stillman rocks!

    1. “Barcelona” is one of my favorite movies.

  5. Indie shit is still indie shit.

    Film at 11.

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