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GERRY

Two pals named Gerry get lost in the desert and end up finding themselves. Or do they?


CAST: Matt Damon, Casey Affleck

DIRECTOR: Gus Van Sant

 

"You are hereby warned, at the cost of your own IQ, to avoid a deadly little bore called ‘Gerry’…It exists for the sole purpose of showing off the pretentious smugness of its two boy-toy writers and stars, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck (Ben’s kid brother), and their director pal, Gus Van Sant…They call it art, but ‘Gerry’ is an in-joke made with Monopoly money, and the joke is on anyone foolish enough to pay real money to see it…Messrs. Damon and Affleck play two friends, both named Gerry, who go for a hike in the desert and get lost in the wilderness. Tha-aa-at’s all, folks; nothing else happens…The publicity notes suggest that ‘Gerry’ hides deeper meanings than are immediately obvious to the naked eye. Like what? We’ve all lost our way? We’re all Gerrys? Grow up, chowderheads." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

Gus Van Sant's bleak, minimalist film ‘Gerry’ is such a radical about-face from his flagrantly commercial movies like ‘Finding Forrester’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’ that it feels like a self-mortifying act of contrition…It is a movie of few words, but even those loosely scattered phrases sound garbled, vague and fraught with a bogus allegorical weight
…With all its quirks, ‘Gerry’ seeps into your pores like the wind-whipped sand that stings the faces of these disoriented hikers. Moviegoers who stumble into ‘Gerry’ expecting a wisecracking buddy movie or ‘Good Will Hunting 2’ should be warned: as the movie stretches out, they may find themselves as befuddled and directionless as its foolhardy outdoorsmen lurching across the wasteland without a compass or a canteen." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"…a gorgeously shot endurance test that is impossible to get through on anything less than a full night's sleep and a double shot of espresso…an unforgiving art film almost entirely comprising loving shots of two pretty boys wandering around a pretty Southwestern landscape, and not saying very much…What little dialogue there is is mostly improvised, and scarcely resembles believable speech...‘Gerry’ is so visually beautiful that you wish it were less smugly determined to alienate all audiences except those inclined to confuse pretension with profundity and tedium with seriousness. –" --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"There are about five people who are going to dig Gus Van Sant's new film -- and, yeah, well, I'm one of them. A tough, vigorous exercise in cinematic form and pure aesthetics … ‘Gerry’ is about as non-narrative a film as you're likely to see in commercial theaters. This makes it a curiosity and, less charitably, something of a gimmick, but mostly it makes it a challenge...‘Gerry’ marks a genuine attempt by Van Sant to reclaim a personal voice that had gone mute, to rediscover, as it were, his own private Idaho. With ‘Gerry,’ it only looks like he's lost." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"As their anxiety grows, Damon's Gerry gets more and more aggressively male, while Affleck's Gerry comes to seem increasingly ‘feminine,’ passive, dependent. Still, despite such intimations of both their subterranean homoerotic feelings and the terror such feelings induce, Van Sant ultimately reveals so little about this odd couple that we frankly don't give a damn what happens to them. Nor, apparently, does he. Their relationship pays off in a climax (straight out of von Stroheim's ‘Greed’) that's so ambiguous that those around me in the theater quite rightly sighed with annoyance." --John Powers, LA Weekly

"The problem is, we don't actually know who these Gerrys are or where they're going or even how they feel about their situation until they're on the verge of perishing from dehydration: Their conflict is confined to a few stray ‘I hate you’s and ‘You're a fuck-up’s…Van Sant has alluded to a homoerotic drama under the surface, with Damon increasingly the take-charge male and Affleck the passive femme, but ‘Gerry’ is so underdramatized that it's hard to work up any interest in either the masculine or feminine side of the equation…I imagine that a lot of people are going to make fun of Gerry as a sort of ambient movie, an arty exercise in withholding; and I'd be lying if I said it didn't annoy the hell out of me for most of its 103-minute running time. But I might watch it again sometime and try a little harder to get on its wavelength. In some strange way, I admire the enterprise." --David Edelstein, Slate