Directed by Anna Rose Holmer
Toni, a tomboyish boxer, lands a spot on an after-school drill team in the West End community of Cincinnati. She eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. It’s the joy of her first friendships and her discovery of dance. Shortly after Toni joins the team, most of the girls on the team suffer from episodes of fainting, swooning, and shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable catharsis. Nobody can explain the mysterious outbreak. These fits soon transform into a rite of passage as the trauma draws the other girls closer together. Caught between her need for control and her desire for acceptance, Toni must decide how far she will go to embody her new ideals.
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★★★★½ review by brat pitt on Letterboxd
not to be dramatic but diverse, female-centric cinema is literally the only thing i will ever care about for the rest of my life
★★★★★ review by nathaxnne walker (retired) on Letterboxd
When we are there when nothing else is.
When we are not there when everything else is.
When we are not, what is where we were?
What stands or moves in, in its place?
The Fits, more than any other movie I think I have seen, knows what it is like to be alone or nearly alone in institutional spaces when no one else is there, when the building has been closed or is winding down its operations for the day or if parts of it have been abandoned recently or all human activity moved to another area. It knows that is a form of haunting, of what was immediately present now gone, having left artifacts scattered in its wake or having placed them in order prior to departure. It is like when the sun is going down but the heat is held in the land only for it to be slowly exhaled during the night.
The Fits knows that to be an adolescent is to pass from the structures of the immediate family to a larger wilderness of different kinds of loneliness and belonging and that this too is a haunting, not simply of the immediate past of childhood, but also a state of being haunted by the future self, the adult-in-becoming, itself a fraught and perilous process to navigate.
The fact that The Fits takes place in the warm and homelike but ultimately liminal space of the Lincoln Community Center, and not primarily in a school or in the homes of the kids means that it knows it is centered in a communal space, but one passed through on the way to somewhere else, a space which cannot be remained in.
The Fits is a movie which revolves about our daily hauntings, our comings and goings, our presences and absences, entering into and passing away from the surety and the knowledge of what it means to be ourselves when alone and with others, what it means to be that within a family, a group of friends, a larger world, and how we fit in and do not fit at all, how we drop in and drop out of these endlessly shifting configurations which provide the context for and against what we are and what we can be.
★★★★½ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
me during every single shot: A SHOT
★★★★ review by Katie on Letterboxd
girls are so beautiful and wonderful and I love all of them
★★★★½ review by Josh Larsen on Letterboxd
Negotiating the onset of adolescence can be a tricky thing — for kids, obviously, but also for filmmakers. Some sugarcoat it. Others exploit it. Many wrap it in a glaze of syrupy nostalgia. With The Fits, first-time feature director Anna Rose Holmer does something I haven’t seen before. She captures approaching adolescence for what it really is: an out-of-body experience. (Full review here.)
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