Monday, April 1, 2013

Raama Mosley's THE BRASS TEAPOT is a little fable that'll charm the pants off you

Adorable, quirky, smart, sweet, funny and just a little frightening, THE BRASS TEAPOT -- the new movie from first-time/full-length filmmaker Raama Mosley -- is surprisingly original, given its age-old provenance: that evergreen fable about an exotic object that possesses magical powers. What the object is will be no mystery (it's that titular teapot, of course), but its special "power," along with how that power is conjured (one of several surprises the movie has up its sleeve), is something else. And that should remain one of the mysteries you'll only find out by seeing this little gem of a film.

I hope other critics don't give away our teapot's secret because it's such a tasty one, offering all kinds of interesting ramifications about the way we live now. Ms Mosley, shown at right, finds exactly the right tone to set her little fable off and running: a fairy-tale-like take on these current economic-and-unemployed times. Her Jack and Jill are an adorable couple named John and Alice. In these roles, the filmmaker has cast two of our best young performers -- Michael Angarano and Juno Temple -- both working at the top of their talented-and-still-growing abilities.

As newly married and so-in-love youngsters -- in bed, above, and off to work, below -- these two could hardly be more delightful, and part of the filmmaker's challenge is to make them grow and change into not so lovely people who still command our attention, caring and respect.

As in any fable worth its salt, our heroes must learn something about life. And so they do. But Mosley makes the journey so much fun and with so many odd highways and byways that we never grow bored, even if we rather expect what, at last, must happen.

Most enjoyable of all, as often as we see the teapot doing its thing, that operation never grows tiresome due to the increasingly fraught situations this demands. Angarano, above, has a role that suits his "everyman/boy" personality to a tee. (He also possesses one of the cutest asses to be seen on screen in a long while.)

Ms. Temple, above, continues her run of good work in good films -- from Dirty Girl through Killer Joe -- here showing off both her ability and versatility to excellent effect.

Also in the cast are Alia Shawkat, Alexis BledelBobby Moynihan and current hunk-of-hunks Billy Magnussen (shown below, with his director). Everyone does just what is needed to keep the story rolling along, with Mr. Magnussen particularly appealing (to view), nasty (toward our sweet couple) and funny as hell to watch.

The Brass Teapot, from Magnolia Pictures and running 101 minutes, arrives in theaters this Friday, April 5, in New York City at the Cinema Village and West Hollywood at the Sundance Sunset Cinema, having been packing in the couch potatoes during its VOD play over the past month or so. Click here to see any further scheduled playdates and theaters.

2 comments:

Violet Greves said...

I think the movie was good. It was very funny. I'm surprised that it was on VOD. I watched it with a group of friends and we all loved it.

James van Maanen said...

Thanks for commenting, Violet. Let's hope a lot more audiences agree with you and me, as this movie deserves to be seen!