The Seven Faces of Jane movie review (2023)

The best in show is a tie between Bomo Illuma’s segment, where Jane meets an ex-lover named Tayo (Chido Nwokocha) on a beach where, ten years later, it becomes painfully obvious that racial and cultural differences (he’s white, she’s Black) are destined to keep them from getting away; and Jeong’s part, which reunites Jacobs with the “Community” castmate. Joel McHale as one of Jane’s former flames. Illuma’s deployment of different textures, colors, and lighting schemes to contrast past and present evokes the work of Barry Jenkins, and it’s amazing how much painful detail is given in the segment about the reasons for the couple’s failure without writing anything down. Much of the dramatic heavy lifting is done through Jacobs and Nwokocha’s closeups, and through Alex Krispin’s score, which serves as the endoskeleton for the entire project, though it’s subtle to convey that aspect of the function. this.

Jeong’s part is the polar opposite: McHale’s character meets the hero on a hiking trail, leading to a walk-and-talk that feels like the film’s answer to Richard Linklater’s “Before” series. movies. Its centerpiece is a nearly six-minute, uninterrupted shot of characters talking about past mistakes and regrets, hills behind them. The dialogue is cringy in the way that passionate conversations between exes are. It was as embarrassing and touching as a confessional exchange heard in public. Jacobs and McHale have great comic chemistry in “Community,” and Jeong definitely gets his familiarity with them as actors and people. But there’s more here than fan service. Both performers showed sides of their talent that “Community” never captured. And there is a raw vulnerability in both disarming.

Do I like “The Seven Faces of Jane”? I love the idea of ​​it, I love that it exists, and I’m not sure what I can say in the end for or against it, considering that everything good and bad is baked into the methods committed by the performers and filmmakers. Reviewing a film that is unusual, not interested in playing by conventional rules, and dedicated to the concept of freedom (consequences be damned) might be like reviewing a game of charades. Usually, it’s just a game, something you do to pass the time with friends. But every now and then someone pulls a title out of the hat and does it with such excellence that you feel like giving them an Oscar. Unfortunately it is not possible on this platform to give each part of an anthology its own star rating. If there were, Jeong and Illuma’s parts would get three and a half stars. Others run the gamut from half a star to two: you’ll know them when you see them.

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