Cinebanter

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SIFF Sighting: MY LAST YEAR WITH THE NUNS (Comedy; USA)

Matt Smith was a Catholic kid growing up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. It was the Mid-60s and the world was changing around him, but his antics with neighborhood pals transformed into timeless memories.

He turned these experiences into a Wonder Years-like stage monologue, which was then re-purposed for this film, which feels like a documentary, though the disclaimer states the situations and people are composites.

Smith is naturally entertaining with a fantastic gift for comedic delivery and timing, and his stories are hilarious, but I would have preferred a little more dimension than just straight, talk-to-the-camera vignettes. The moments where he dresses up or returns to the "scene of the crime" to re-enact are the strongest and tease us for what could have been had they employed actors to re-live the stories.

There's also an awful lot of spit in this movie, and I'll admit, that sort of lost me.

All in all, those who have ties to this iconic Seattle neighborhood, or grew up as a Catholic boy will probably find the film very accessible and relatable. Others will chuckle and get grossed-out.

MY LAST YEAR WITH THE NUNS will screen at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival on May 26. For tickets, go here.

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