Damsels in Distress
Damsels in Distress
Image: Courtesy of Sony pictures

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Film Review

Film title
Damsels in Distress
Whit Stillman
Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Hugo Becker, Ryan Metcalf, Taylor Nichols
Release date
27 Apr

More info

Damsels In Distress is released 27 Apr by SonAy Pictures Classics www.whitstillman.org

Damsels in Distress

4/5 stars
Film review by Jamie Dunn.
Published 09 April 2012

Chief damsel in Whit Stillman’s long awaited filmmaking return following some Malickesque downtime is Violet (Gerwig), an aggressively altruistic college student hellbent on improving her peers. And boy, do they need her help: B.O. is rampant in the last dorm to go coed; suicide attempts from the roof of the campus’s (two-storey) library have seen student maimings skyrocket; one poor frat boy has made it all the way to tertiary education without learning the colours. Problem is, Violet’s the most distressed of the lot, torn as she is between her cheating meathead boyfriend and an enigmatic 'playboy operator' (Brody).

Stillman’s screenplay zings – you’ll find more zippy lines in Damsels than on Charlie Sheen’s coffee table. And despite being shot cheap on HD, the movie is luminous: its pastel frocks, expressionistic lighting and sporadic dance numbers blended with frat house hijinks suggests a Vincente Minnelli remake of Animal House. The casting of the adorkable Gerwig is key here; her screwball sass gives Stillman’s wryness some added spryness. [Jamie Dunn]