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FANNY, ANNIE & DANNY: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Fanny (Jill Pixley) is a developmentally disabled 39-year-old living in a home for dependent adults. Her world starts to implode when the candy factory where she works goes bankrupt. The oldest of three children, Fanny has long been a source of strain and resentment within her family. Her jittery sister Annie (Carlye Pollack) has spent her life taking care of her, while their successful but elusive brother Danny (Jonathan Leveck) has thus far escaped responsibility. When the three siblings are forced by their overbearing mother Edie (Colette Keen) to reunite for a holiday dinner, everyone's worst fears are realised.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A superbly orchestrated screenplay, astonishing performances and riveting direction from San Francisco filmmaker Chris Brown deliver a family drama with darkly humorous riffs. The character around whom the film revolves is the troubled 39 year old Fanny, portrayed with gentle sincerity and touching vulnerability by Jill Pixley.

Her unsympathetic sister Annie (Carlye Pollack) and her monstrous mother Edie (Colette Keen) barely tolerate her when necessary, although Annie tries to keep an eye on her. And the only time it is necessary is for the Christmas dinner - held a week early every year to minimise Edie's nerves - where the whole family must sit around the turkey and enjoy. And that's an order; Edie's order. Coming back from his shenanigans with a rock band, son Danny (Jonathan Leveck) is the only one who actually cares for Fanny, although even he is not beyond exploiting her shortcomings. Fanny's father, the reclusive Vietnam war vet dad, Todd (Nick Frangione) is mostly a silent observer who has long ago lost his alpha male role to Edie.

The already unstable group, including Annie's pot smoking boyfriend Ronnie (George Killingsworth), is critically destabilised when Fanny loses her long-held lolly factory job and is also told to leave her sheltered home after being an incurable nuisance.

The serious subject matter of Fanny's mental illness provides the dramatic anchor for the film's keenly observed and sharply executed dialogue, while the development of the story, built on the personalities, the grievances, complexities, self-contradicitions and the intimate truths of these characters provides a profoundly satisfying experience.

November 1, 2012

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FANNY, ANNIE & DANNY: DVD (Not Classified)
(US, 2011)

CAST: Jill Pixley, Carlye Pollack, Jonathan Leveck, Colette Keen, George Killingsworth, Nick Frangione, Anne Daragh, Suzanna Aguayo, Nancy Carlin, Don Schwartz

PRODUCER: Morgan Schmidt-Feng

DIRECTOR: Chris Brown

SCRIPT: Chris Brown

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chris Brown

EDITOR: Chris Brown

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Vanguard (available from http://www.fannyannieanddanny.com/ and online DVD stores)

DVD RELEASE: October 23, 2012







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