DVD Medicine for Melancholy (DVD 6235606),
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Medicine for Melancholy

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • The premise of MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY seems simple enough: a man and woman wake up together after a night of drinking, neither knowing the other's name. Introductions are finally made, and the could-be couple spends the day traversing the city of San Francisco by foot, bike, and taxi. But first-time feature director Barry Jenkins takes this basic idea and builds, making a thoughtful, stylish film that feels at once entirely natural and well-crafted. THE DAILY SHOW's Wyatt Cenac stars as Mycah, a black hipster, whose manner is laidback except when he is talking about matters of race. Newcomer Tracey Heggins is Jo, a black woman with a post-racial mindset who is all angles and resistance to Mycah's charms. Their day functions as a first date, beginning with plenty of awkward silences and building to conversations about race, class, and relationships.

    MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY avoid the pitfalls of most indie, dialogue-based films and boasts a high level of style. Jenkins and his director of photography, James Laxton, have made a feature with gorgeous cinematography and a nice post-production use of desaturation, which gives the film a muted look. The high quality of the film continues with the cast. Heggins is strong as Jo, and her chemistry with Cenac deserves praise. Though Cenac is best known to date for his work as a comedian, he's equally adept with both the comic and the dramatic moments in the film. Like BEFORE SUNRISE transplanted to aught-era San Francisco and given a political bent, MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY is an authentic picture of two strangers struggling to see if they can be something more.
  • Credits
    Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins
  • Critic Reviews
    "[A] small, incisive film....The tricky questions that govern MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY are how, why and to what extent race should matter in relationships between black men and women."
    New York Times

    3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The actors are effortlessly engaging....MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY is a first, but very assured, feature by Barry Jenkins, who has the confidence to know the precise notes he wants to strike."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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