Black Mountain Poets
Two professional con artist sisters go on the run and assume the identities of The Wilding Sisters, guest stars of a poetry retreat in the depths of the Black Mountains. A romantic comedy drama about love, crime, spirituality, and soul
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★★★½ review by Jason Pollard on Letterboxd
A beautifully shot (on a DSLR!) retroscripted, lo-fi dramedy that is carried by the performances. Along with the improvisation, though, comes some pacing issues--most noticeably in the second act. Still, definitely worth a watch for the spots where it shines.
★★★½ review by maid on Letterboxd
What better way to explore the pretentiousness of the modern poetry scene than to have a couple of scatty con-women casually infiltrate a poetry meet-up, passing themselves off as a couple of big-name poets? Of course, much hilarity ensues from the premise alone, but then the film shifts gear and explores what happens when grown adults camp out in the wilderness and decide to start acting like a bunch of thirteen-year-olds.
The success of Black Mountain Poets hangs considerably on the charisma and versatility of lead actors Dolly Wells and Alice Lowe. Without them, this film would just be nonsense. With them, the film is still nonsense, but nonsense is itself a form of poetic expression - a fact we are reminded of when Alice Lowe manages to turn the content of a supermarket checkout receipt into a "found poem" that is both sublime and stupid at the same time. How strange and remarkable that a film telling a story about a pair of impostors should then find that it has something to say about the fragile richness of human connection.
★★★½ review by Lowthor on Letterboxd
Fun, funny, quirky, often pretty.
★★★½ review by Lauren Boisset on Letterboxd
as someone about to go to uni to do literature and creative writing, i feel as though this film managed to get its material from the more pretentious parts of my soul; and frankly, that's all fair game. whilst not being my personal favourite performance of alice lowe's, she is hilarious and strangely heartwarming as the dubiously moral, dubiously competent lisa: nevertheless, she is left with strong competition from dolly wells' claire; a competition which by halfway through the film i abandoned, as their on-screen connection was too genuine for me to care. this is doubtlessly not a comedy for everyone--richard's passive-aggressive ex-girlfriend, whilst deliberately grating, may be too much for some and the film meanders in a way that i enjoy but others may not--yet i still encourage as many people as possible to see it, for where else will you see a recital of a receipt done so strangely poetically.
★★★★½ review by Alain Elliott on Letterboxd
I loved it! A perfectly odd comedy, with some surprisingly touching moments. Full of great performances, none more so than Alice Lowe and Dolly Wells in the leads, along with a fantastic and engaging script. Instantly re-watchable and quotable. The kind of film you want to tell everyone about straight after seeing it.
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