'My Blind Brother' SXSW 2016 - Review

My Blind Brother,’ is a Narrative Feature in the Spotlight section that had its world premiere during the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. The film stars Adam Scott asRobbieand Nick Kroll as "Bill". Adam Scott is an award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his role of ‘Ben Wyatt’ in the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation".  Nick Kroll is an actor, writer, producer and stand-up comedian. He is the creator and star of the critically acclaimed series, “Kroll Show” which aired for three seasons on Comedy Central.My Blind Brother’ is directed by Sophie Goodhart. The movie tells the story of a smug local athlete Robbie and and his underachieving brother Bill. It's a romantic and dark comedy rivalry between a blind athlete and his standoffish brother for the love of the same woman, Rose, played by Jenny Slate. The rivalry creates a gap between the brothers who are used to do everything together.

The film was created initially as a short also entitled ‘My Blind Brother’ by Goodhart that screened in competition at Cannes in 2003 where it was nominated for the Palme d’Or. In addition, the short film was also selected in 2003 for the SXSW, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, and London film festivals.  After 13 years the director returned again, but this time bringing My Blind Brotheras a feature film to SXSW in 2016, attaching A list actors to make it one of the most successful comebacks. The film was sold for distribution during SXSW 2016 to the cable and satellite network Starz, which landed North American and Latin American rights for the film. Starz will give 'My Blind Brother' a day-and-date release in 25 markets and VOD (via Starz Digital) later this year, followed by an exclusive TV debut in 2017. It’s so amazing to hear great stories about indie films that find distribution during film festivals. The director Sophie Goodhart and the cast Jenny Slate, Zoe Kazan, Nick Kroll, and Charlie Hewson were well received with excitement during the premiere and Q&A at the Topfer Theatre during SXSW 2016.

Zoe Kazan spoke about the film during the round up with LA Splash Magazine. Shee said, “I thought the script was real unusual, and the sensibility of the film was so clear. I think the film is about shame, shame about what you want. There is some kind of clear mind with Robbie (Adam's character), like trying to persevere in certain way, in wanting to be a winner, and about not getting the blindness to get in his way on his achievements. The movie is about clearing away those blocks that  people put in front of themselves.”

Review
 
The comedic film is very easy to digest is a very compelling story about two brothers' rivalry. Robbie (Adam) is the blind brother who is an attractive and confident goal achiever. His brother, Bill (Kroll) is insecure, pessimistic, fearful, and depressed and his role in life has been serving as his Robbie's eyes. He guides him day to day and he does it out of the guilt he has from an accident that almost ended the life of his brother in the past. Bill seems tired of serving just as his eyes without getting any acknowledgment or gratefulness from his hard work from anyone. Robbie, who is allured by his new fame in the little town, enjoys all the attention from the public as the media gives him many interviews where he gets to talk about his new records and plans in the future. The narcissist personality of the the blind brother is hilarious. Bill thinks his job is done after finishing a marathon, but Robbie now wants his brother to guide him on a sponsored swim across the lake in their small town.  Bill isn’t happy about the new goal of his brother and decides to go to a bar to easy himself. At a bar he meets Rose (Slate) who also feels guilty about her past because she thinks she’s responsible for the death of her ex-boyfriend, and the two connect over their shared guilt. Bill thinks he has found his soul mate but after he takes her to his place to have sex, he becomes disappointed later as Rose has regrets of the one night stand and refuses to give him her phone number. A few days after Robbie tells Bill that he’s off the hook for training, but then he finds out that his brother’s new guide is Rose, the same woman from the one night stand woman he liked so much. He never tells Robbie the truth about his feelings and subsequently both brothers begin to fall for her. The dynamic of the love triangle becomes a big issue between the brothers and Rose, and the confusion and complications makes the film priceless and laughable. It’s a film about family,  jealousy, grief, and competitiveness with a bright side.
 

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