Took a second look
Richard Mccarthy | 02/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this DVD because I was very interested to see how the 3 lead actors played off each other, particularly in light their being, ostensibly at least, such different character types. I'd seen Mike McGlone in Brothers McMullen and She's the One, and then later in the excellent Dinner Rush with Danny Aiello. And James Urbaniak plays the uniquely idiosyncratic lead role amazingly in the seminal independent film Henry Fool, directed by the great Hal Hartley. Finally the least "indie" of the 3, Tony Hale, plays one of the more neurotic characters on one of my favorite (now a "brilliant but canceled") shows Arrested Development and turns in the most realized and comically sympathetic performance in the film.
Although funny and compelling in places, it seemed inconsistent and admittedly I found I was a bit unsure about Fortunes on the initial viewing, but it definitely charmed me into taking another look. And I discovered that what at first felt perhaps more like pacing issues and the absence of the sharp "edginess" that characterizes a lot of independent film, as that certainly is generally what the indie audience comes to see, was actually much more of a studied, subtle exploration of early life crisis and uncertainty. The film is a sort of dark satire but with a lighter touch, resisting the indie urge for grittiness and brazenness in favor of a more supple approach.
The acting is really good (all 3 of the leads as well as a few of the supporting cast - notably the woman who plays the wife, Diana Henry, have terrific comedic and dramatic timing) - subtle like the writing and the overall film - and it's definitely shot very well - it's beautiful to look at for an independent. And the direction of the film brings all the elements together creatively and imaginatively, but again, with a sense of restraint. Getting past the initial sense of deliberateness in the film was a bit like the characters themselves getting past (ie - forced by their uneasiness to get past) their initial, natural cynicism about what a fortune teller has to say in the first place.
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Give FORTUNES a Chance
Arthur M. | Missouri | 12/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a small independent film that really -- and unfortunately -- has been under the radar; however, FORTUNES features a terrific cast and an original yet identifiable story line. And the music is really good too. Though its humor may be a bit dry and its action too subtle for some, if your attention span is longer than that of a four-year-old inhaling Halloween candy then this fine movie's true and rewarding qualities will be readily apparent. Give FORTUNES a chance!"