film 6 of 6

Gentlemen Broncos

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

Except for that hilarious stab of Irish-looped dialogue, the Lonnie/Steven Groo stuff is a big miscalculation, and it pretty well scuppers this whole movie. Still, on a second viewing, this craft mess/commercial disaster also has the feel of the rawest dream matter that you can imagine. It is positively Buñuelian (or George Kuchar-like) in its fearless, unabashed, dangerous authenticity. Yikes! Cletus festival, eh? Tampons and hand lotion, eh? And that’s just the first seven minutes. Oh, and let’s not forget the python with diarrhea, which is something I’d never even thought about before I saw this film.

Jemaine Clements is funny, but there’s a strain there, like when someone doesn’t manage to quite direct Robin Williams. It’s the Sam Rockwell parts that work utterly. That guy needs a genius grant! As for the Hesses and their contributions, the yeast and fungus and flying on wires part deserves to go down in film history. Also, here’s how special effects, and synthesizers, should work. Admit they’re fake!

Jennifer Coolidge is a bit like Falconetti’s Joan, or maybe Lars von Trier’s martyred female leads. Whatever the proper comparison may be, she’s awfully game, awfully brave. I am going to choose to see dignity here, and tenderness in these lunatics’ entire conception.

Notice that the writers’ guild registration makes for a very crafty, even classical conclusion. In the end—Rossellini on Chaplin, Rosenbaum on J.L.—after all the things you might say for or against it, this wild and brave movie is the work of a free pair of married Mormons. How often can you say that?!