Best and Most Beautiful Things
Off a dirt road in rural Maine, a precocious 20-year-old woman named Michelle Smith lives with her mother Julie. Michelle is quirky and charming, legally blind and diagnosed on the autism spectrum, with big dreams and varied passions. Searching for connection, Michelle explores love and empowerment outside the limits of “normal” through a provocative fringe community. Will she take the leap to experience the wide world for herself? Michelle’s joyful story of self-discovery celebrates outcasts everywhere.
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★★★½ review by Andrew Liverod on Letterboxd
A young, blind, aspie woman's search for her identity as an independent adult. Michelle sold the whole film and is open and extremely likeable.
A few things that stood out:
* After Michelle explains to a teacher why she felt patronised by her: "It's not you, it's your autism speaking". What a witch!
* The sensory-overload of the basketball game.
* The scene when Michelle tries to chat to another woman in a bar during a Pride fest, only for the woman to turn her back to her was heartbreaking!
* What a great mother and boyfriend!
* Cool socks!
★★★★½ review by rubi on Letterboxd
Maybe the best movie I've seen about what it's like trying to achieve independence as an adult with disabilities. A very empathetic, respectfully observed documentary. Though nothing really terrible happens in the movie (the two worst events in Michelle's life, a death and a divorce, happened before filming started), it is an emotionally intense experience seeing Michelle struggle against the condescension and societal limitations she faces as a legally blind autistic woman. As an autistic nerd myself, I loved seeing her get passionate about her interests and particularly her love of Evangelion. The stuff about her sexual side is interesting and the most does a solid job articulating the psychology behind some of her more unusual kinks. If there's a villain in the movie, it's the LA public transit system.
★★★★½ review by Amanda Sternklar on Letterboxd
I hate nearly everyone in this film.
★★★★½ review by Kristina Winters on Letterboxd
I love that this documentary looks at a person with a disability in 360 degrees. It isn't about beating the odds or achieving the impossible or anything that I've seen a million times. It's about a young girl who desperately wants to be herself despite her blindness and Aspbergers, and how she figures out how to do it.
I loved everything about this film with the exception of some awkward timeline jumping near the beginning. When the film settles into a more classic, linear timeline format and we stop jumping around, we can truly appreciate how Michelle grows, season by season.
Heartwarming, funny, empowering and beautiful, Michelle is one amazing woman. (And you thought I was describing the film!)
★★★½ review by Emmett Foss on Letterboxd
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