ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW
John Hawkes (Richard Swersey) is a shoe salesman and father of two, whose marriage has broken down. He sets up house in a close knit neighbourhood and shares custody of his 14 year old son Peter (Miles Thompson) and 7 year old Robby (Brandon Ratcliff). Christine (Miranda July) is an artist who lives in a world of her own. When she meets John at the shoe shop, she is drawn to him and they begin an unusual relationship. In the meantime, Peter becomes the guinea pig for two teenage girls experimenting with their sexuality and little Robby gets caught up in a sexually permissive internet chat with an anonymous stranger. Then there's little Sylvie (Carlie Westerman), who is secretly stashing all her dreams, along with various useful items, in her hope chest.
Review by Louise Keller:
Me and You and Everyone We Know is as unexpected as life itself. It's a film about imponderables - thoughts, dreams, fantasies and those little things that in fact are really the big things. First time writer / director / performer Miranda July has created an expressive work that touches on the intangible. The film won the acclaimed Camera D'or at Cannes 2005 among other accolades, and July was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at Sundance, also in 2005.
When newly divorced shoe salesman Richard (John Hawkes) meets Christine (July), an eccentric video artist who works part time chauffeuring the elderly, their internal worlds collide. He wants to be swept off his feet but is well and truly grounded in his upside-down life, while she unselfconsciously expresses herself, voicing thoughts and brainstorming while studying objects. The unusual, awkward and often touching relationship between Richard and Christine forms the heart of the film, while the textures of other characters - both young and old - create a different dynamic.
Richard's seven year old son Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) starts an unlikely and suggestive online chat with a stranger using his obsession with 'poop' as the draw-card, while his teenage brother Peter (Miles Thompson) becomes the play thing for two teenage girls wanting to experiment sexually. They flirt shamelessly with a neighbour, who is clearly interested but opts to display his desires by writing them on a sign in his window. Meanwhile Peter is drawn to Sylvie (Carlie Westerman), a serious little girl who is obsessed with collecting items for her glory box.
It's fresh and real, while at the same time breathtakingly daring. Who could imagine a sequence involving a goldfish in a plastic bag that is accidentally left on the roof of a travelling car? There's a delightful scene when Christine and Richard's budding relationship starts to bloom as they walk to their cars and the signposts along the way equate with possible benchmarks of their relationship. July's work has all the spontaneity of a reality show, coupled with creative finesse. The performances are all wonderful - from the mesmerising July herself to five year old Ratcliff, who is simply extraordinary. To squeeze every last drop from this imaginative film, you need to drop your guard and have no preconceptions. Just let the energy and sheer charm of the characters delight you.
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ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (R18+)
CAST: John Hawkes, Miranda July, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Natasha Slayton
PRODUCER: Gina Kwon
DIRECTOR: Miranda July
SCRIPT: Miranda July
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chuy Chávez
EDITOR: Andrew Dickler, Charles Ireland
MUSIC: Michael Andrews
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Aran Mann
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 27, 2005
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
VIDEO RELEASE: May 3, 2006