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G2: Film & Music: Reviews: Film: Hide Your Smiling Faces 3/5

August 1, 2014

Leslie Felperin

Director: Daniel Patrick Carbone. With: Ryan Jones, Nathan Varnson, Colm O'Leary. 81min. Cert: 15

This delicate, painterly coming-of-age drama represents an impressive feature debut for director Daniel Patrick Carbone. The plot revolves around a gaggle of young boys (the only female characters are a couple of mothers) enjoying high summer in rural America. The lads spend their time frolicking in the woods, wrestling with one another in coltish tests of masculinity and getting into trouble by stealing a handgun. When one boy is found dead below a disused railway bridge, the rest struggle to process this first direct confrontation with mortality. Carbone elicits nuanced, spontaneous performances from the two leads, Ryan Jones and Nathan Varnson, as brothers reacting to the tragedy with coiled anger and confusion. Ultimately, it's mostly a mood piece where not much really happens apart from the inciting incident, but as a study of childhood and adolescence (it makes a great companion piece to Richard Linklater's Boyhood) it's ripe with telling details and atmosphere. LF

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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