Wrong (NR)

Drama 94 March 29, 2013
By Alan Scherstuhl
If real life were like Wrong, Quentin Dupieux's sweetly unnerving experiment in ambient fucked-uppedness, your phone would ring before you've finished this sentence, and the words you haven't gotten to yet would be read aloud to you by some voice you've never heard before. The next one would be spoken by the man outside who has taken it upon himself to paint your car blue. And then you remember: You don't own a car. That title refers to a persistent, alienating wrongness in the everyday grind of its hapless protagonist, Dolph Springer (Jack Plotnick), a shock-haired sad-sack who is more a piece of indie comic-strip iconography than a full-fledged movie character. Springer's alarm clock flips from 7:59 to 7:60; his mailbox contains a stamped envelope with no writing on it; his gardener insist there’s a problem with his palm tree—a problem so upsetting it can't be discussed on the phone. It's the kind of troubles Ziggy might have if Ziggy were written by a depressed grad student. Wrongest of all, Springer's pooch has gone missing. That mystery gives the film its spine, but for much of its running time Wrong is happily invertebrate. For the first 40 minutes, writer/director/editor/ cinematographer Dupieux simmers Springer (and us) in an almost-stoned daydream, the existential sweats of Lynch and Kafka here adopted as a comic mode. Springer wanders lonely L.A. neighborhoods and engages in daft, deadpan conversations with strangers. The film's heady buzz is invigorating, and there are substantial pleasures-- and laughs-- to be found in all its real-life-just-gone-sour strangeness.
Quentin Dupieux Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Steve Little, William Fichtner, Regan Burns, Mark Burnham, David Nicolas, Alex Ridha, Steven Ellison Quentin Dupieux Gregory Bernard Drafthouse Films

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