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One & Two


Stars: Kiernan Shipka, Timothée Chalamet, Grant Bowler, Elizabeth Reaser, Rayven Simone Ferrell

Director: Andrew Droz Palermo

Despite the awful title, this dreamy drama starts promisingly enough: a family, father (Bowler), mother (Reaser), son Zac (Chalamet) and daughter (Shipka) Eva - pronounced Ava - live a 19th century life in 21st century America, in a remote farmhouse somewhere in the Carolinas.

How they make a living is anyone's guess but there are other, more interesting aspects of the plot: the wife suffers from dangerous epileptic fits, and the two children have been born with a talent for teleportation - they can move themselves distances simply by concentration.

The father, who spends his life in a filthy dirty vest which he even wears to bed, gets even more eccentric when his wife dies (no spoilers here: poor Reaser lasts less than 40 minutes in): he locks the boy in a closet, knocks the girl unconscious and sends her off in a coracle, like Moses, down the nearby river.

So far, so dreary, but when it has to reply on its dialogue, the film falls apart. Finally releasing Zac from the closet to reveal his sister's fate, his father tells him 'I know you're upset. "I'm not saying I'm without fault.'

Eventually, like Eva on her boat, the film just drifts away. And the youngsters' decision at the end seems particularly stupid, seemingly leaving them without a future. The acting, though, is competent all round.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour by FotoKem.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Jan 2016