Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

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domino harvey
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Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#1 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:46 am

Old news but I hasn't heard about it til seeing it listed in the Tribeca FF program, but Max Winkler is finally following up his underrated comic gem Ceremony (I know swo is also a fan of this one) with Flower. It's based on a Black List script from 2012 that tied with Whiplash and Hell or High Water in their rankings, so hopefully this isn't like Phil Morrison finally following up Junebug with All is Bright!

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swo17
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Re: The Films of 2017

#2 Post by swo17 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:04 pm

Cool beans

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PfR73
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Re: The Films of 2017

#3 Post by PfR73 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:51 pm

That's great to hear. I just purchased Ceremony on Blu-Ray last week (saw it at SXSW several years ago) and was wondering why he'd not made another film.

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domino harvey
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2017)

#4 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:56 pm

Here's the festival's thumbnail
“Flower”
Director: Max Winkler, Screenwriters: Alex McAulay, Max Winkler, Matt Spicer
Rebellious and quick-witted, 17-year-old firecracker Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch) kills time with her friends gawking at older men in bowling alleys and sexually scheming guys out of their money. However, her biggest scheme is still to come when her mother asks her boyfriend and his troubled, fresh-out-of-rehab son to move in with them in this biting dark comedy. With Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Tim Heidecker, Joey Morgan, Dylan Gelula. (World Premiere)

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domino harvey
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2017)

#5 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:05 pm

Has anyone heard any updates on a release date for this?

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bainbridgezu
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2017)

#6 Post by bainbridgezu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:05 am


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domino harvey
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2017)

#7 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:24 pm

Surprised they're not moving this up to capitalize on the timeliness of its premise (though even that's a little bait and switch-y in the trailer, from what I understand), but glad there's finally a release on the horizon

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Black Hat
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#8 Post by Black Hat » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:57 pm

Wow all this time I thought Zoey Deutch from this and Everybody Wants Some, Haley Lu Richardson from Edge of Seventeen, Split and Columbus and Kathryn Newton from Big Little Lies were the same actress.

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Big Ben
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#9 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:22 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#10 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:46 pm

Much more promising trailer, looks great

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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#11 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:57 pm

Max Winkler's Flower is either a tone deaf, morally repulsive disaster, or a portrait of selfishness and entitlement that semi-brilliantly walks a line of unreliability and ambiguity like the edgy teen romcom version of Taxi Driver, committed to the perspective of the protagonist for better or worse. Having just seen it, I think I'm coming down closer to the latter, but I'm not so firm in that opinion that I couldn't be swayed.

Zoey Deutch’s Erica is basically the female version of Jonah Hill’s Superbad character wreaking havoc in what would otherwise be a fairly standard Sundance family dramedy, alternately aggravating and charming her mother (Kathryn Hahn) and prospective stepfather and stepbrother (Tim Heidecker and Joey Morgan, respectively), while conspiring with her girlfriends to scam older men, until the Adam Scott character becomes more significant than just the “hot old guy at the bowling alley”, and the plot takes... quite a turn.

I've never seen Ceremony, Winkler's previous feature effort, so I have no idea if it was a similarly dark comedy - Flower was seemingly workshopped to be as misaligned as possible with prevailing attitudes toward sexuality and abuse - or if this most recent effort is an outlier, but the script and performances here lean hard into the punch Winkler had to know would be coming from a sizable chunk of the critical community.

Either way, Deutch gives a striking lead performance, and the shift this film makes at the two-thirds mark is surprising to say the least. Even with my charitable interpretation of what the film is doing, it’s not great, but it’s worth seeing for Deutch and for its various provocations (even if what different viewers see as provocative about it will vary).

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domino harvey
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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:36 pm

One of Ceremony's greatest virtues was in setting up familiar narrative beats and then circumventing the expected outcome. Making a film about abuse that doesn't tow the socially excepted line sounds quite bold and perhaps of a piece with that aspect, though nothing I recall in Ceremony could really be considered controversial to most audiences

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Re: Flower (Max Winkler, 2018)

#13 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:10 am

This was godawful and stupid and morally ugly and I hated it. It amazes me that the script for this was a Black List darling (with the incredible Whiplash no less), because it's a shallow and contrived mess, with Book Of Henry-tier tonal shifts executed with about the same level of competence. It's very telling that there's no synopsis online, because reading one end to end would kill anyone's desire to watch this.

The movie starts with the premise that Zoey Deutch (who does a commendable job with the material here and whom I'd like to see in a better movie) plays the ringleader of a group of underage girls who run a scheme where Deutch prostitutes herself to older men, has the other girls in the group record the sex acts, and extorts money out of the johns for all the girls to share. Super gross, obviously, but it's not presented as an excuse for the movie to sexualize Deutch (there's actually no nudity, penis drawings notwithstanding, or onscreen sex) and it's the kind of concept that could form the backbone of an interesting, perhaps even genuinely transgressive, movie if it were fleshed out.
SpoilerShow
But not only do all the film's good ideas go nowhere (the whole extortion thing never happens again, for instance), the movie seems more interested in using these moments as an excuse for Deutch's incredibly unpleasant character to be her misanthropic and utterly charmless self for minutes upon minutes, almost to the point where she seems like she's been ripped from Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri. If you thought that movie was hilarious, then you'll like this one's comic scenarios (fellating a drug dealer to get roofies to drug a suspected pedophile so you can pretend you were molested by him, anyone?) just as much. For everyone else, well, this movie's idea of a running joke is to have Deutch refer to her fat, insecure, in-rehab step-brother as a pathetic virgin throughout the movie so that when they have sex (!) at the end, she can say "you know, I was actually a virgin this whole time too!" for cheap laughs that don't even make sense (the underage prostitute was a virgin?).

The real plot of the movie is made of the movie's worst idea, involving the step-brother - he claims to have been molested by the aforementioned pedophile, so Deutch pursues him and ends up drugging him with the roofies for money/revenge (the movie doesn't really establish why she goes after the pedophile), but after he's drugged, the guy breaks down and emotionally says that the step-brother is a pathological liar and that he never molested anyone. He falls asleep and the gang of girls takes the photos, but the guy ends up dying for stupid reasons that I won't get into here, leading Deutch and the step-brother to run away to Mexico, turning the movie into a road movie for twenty minutes, which of course leads the two to confess their love (the two never display any chemistry before this) for each other and fuck in the desert as police cars close in on them. And that ending! Not only do they stay together, it turns out that the pedophile didn't molest the step-brother, but did molest a ton of other girls, making the whole thing okay and morally justifiable (a bit like the end of Three Billboards, coincidentally).
This movie confuses "obscene" with "transgressive." None of these scenarios are funny or novelly presented or particularly dramatic, just explicit in a weaksauce sort of way. Easily the worst movie I've seen since Red Sparrow, which is saying something.

EDIT: Mike Stoklasa agrees! (spoilers)

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