Directed by Miranda July, starring Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Natasha Slayton and Najarra Townsend.
Writer-director, Miranda July, won nine awards for this film including Best Feature, Best Narrative Feature and Originality of Vision in various different festivals. They were all deserving wins because this is fresh and inventive in both concept and telling.
'Me and You and Everyone we Know' could be branded arthouse, portraying the loneliness of individuals in contemporary times in a world often connected only by digital means.
The weird Christine Jesperson (July) is a lonely, struggling artist who drives taxis for the elderly. She longs to connect with people, strangers, and uses this as inspiration in her artistry. She is drawn to one particular man, Richard Swersey (Hawkes), a shoe salesman. Richard is a bit on the eccentric side too – he set his hand on fire in a trick that went wrong in an attempt to save his marriage. Now recovering from his marriage failure, he believes new things can happen. But he panics when he meets Christine, even though it seems the two lost souls are only looking for each other.
Richard's two sons, 14-year-old Peter (Thompson) and 7-year-old Robby (Ratcliff), spend a lot of time finding their own entertainment. Peter falls into sex games with two schoolgirls and Robby manages to be articulate in an online chatroom, where his conversations are taken on an allegorical level by an older woman he frequently chats to. When little Robby and his chatroom woman meet up they merely share a kiss and look at each other with some sort of lost love. (The film touches a dodgy point here trying to push its creativity in an ambiguous and maybe unnerving scene.)
The central theme in every relationship this film explores is connection and the complexities involved. While the young people confuse connection with sex, its profundity is eventually captured in Richard and Christine's relationship.
Miranda July whole-heartedly threw herself into the making of this film playing the part of Christine Jesperson. Who better to play the intriguing, captivating and lonely artist than the person who created her in the first place? The skilful performances throughout set the right tone for the film, capturing a casual world rather than a series of dramas. Eccentricity doesn't need overacting.
The film, like the main character, is all about quirkiness and an odd view of the world. Poetic, funny and with some fantastic moments, 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' is for anyone sick of remakes, predictability and jaded stories. A meaningful film with depth, this is good entertainment for an easy night in.
Patricia O' Callaghan