Justin Lerner is the oddball 2011 film, Girlfriend, so I am happy to declare that his new endeavor, THE AUTOMATIC HATE, is an enormous improvement over that earlier work. Beginning with a look at an unsettled couple, followed by a mysterious unknown woman, a fractured family, a smart and funny college class in Behavioral Development, and a grandfather scene that takes its place in the canon -- all of this beautifully edited (by Jeffrey L. Castellucco) into a crisp and enticing 15-minute mystery having to do with a missing relative -- the movie finds a near-perfect melding of tone and theme via the excellent writing, direction and acting of its very fine ensemble.
Joseph Cross (above) as the pivotal son and Adelaide Clemens (below) as an equally pivotal daughter.
Ricky Jay (below, right) and Richard Schiff (below, left) both of whose performances add further mystery and luster to the proceedings.
Film Movement and running 98 minutes, the movie opens this Friday, March 11, in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Monica Film Center, in Santa Barbara on March 16 at the Plaza del Oro, and in Chicago at Facets Cinematheque and the Four Star in San Francisco on March 18. To see further screening dates, click here and scroll down. DVD and digital streaming will surely happen soon, as well.