Sundance Wrap-Up: How’d Mysteries Do?

It didn’t win any awards, and the early reviews are mixed to bad.

That’s the final word on Mysteries of Pittsburgh following last week’s Sundance Film Festival. Bloggers had long attacked the movie for not following the book close enough.

The Hollywood Reporter calls Mysteries a “reverential and smart distillation” of Chabon’s novel. But the Reporter takes some hits at the film too, saying the performances of Jon Foster and Peter Sarsgaard are what help invigorate the film and “keenly flesh-out its emotional dimensions.”

FirstShowing.Net‘s reviewer also liked the film. “What I discovered was not particularly funny, but rather a very endearing drama with a wonderful score and great characters. It’s not anything close to a masterpiece, but Mysteries of Pittsburgh is still a great film.”

Then there’s the mixed reviews, like Buzz Sugar’s. “It’s not a bad movie, by any means. The music is fantastic, for example. Many of the directorial choices (the way shots are set up, the use of voiceover narration, etc.) are superb. Several of the performances are arresting. But the dialog is stilted and the action feels extremely rushed.”

And then there’s the haters. A review posted on Ain’t It Cool News say while the film was “competently directed, the story was unengaging. Keep the faith in Thurber and most of the actors, but check this flick out only if you’re hardcore for any of ’em.”

And The Advocate slams the film as well. “Thurber’s changes have made The Mysteries of Pittsburgh flatter, more generic, and more like umpteen Sundance films that have come before it.”

A parting shot, from Chud: “Here’s the big mystery of Pittsburgh: How did this movie manage to be so completely terrible?”

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