by Jason Anderson, published on November 10, 2005 09:11|
Based on the director's experiences as a teenaged squatter and cult member, Alison Murray's patchy but visually arresting Mouth to Mouth depicts a runaway's experiences with a grungy posse of anarchists as they tumble across Europe like some evil production of Stomp!. Neglected by her mother, Sherry (Ellen Page) is easy prey for SPARK (Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge). Its permanently shirtless leader Harry (Eric Thal) may preach self-determination and positivity, but is mostly interested in increasing his hold over his impressionable charges.
The fact that Harry's promised Shangri-La will turn out to be a slice of hell is telegraphed far too early but Murray -- best known for her muscular dance films -- invests her scenes with a surprising degree of movement and colour. And though the Sundance hit Hard Candy is a much stronger showcase for the precociously talented Page (expect a Toronto release in early '06), she too uses her smarts and ferocity to remarkable effect.
Editorial Rating: 3 out of 5