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Movie review: 'You Won't Miss Me'

Stella Schnabel portrays a not-so-successful actress in Ry Russo-Young's meandering urban portrait.

March 01, 2011|By Robert Abele, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Gina Abatemarco stars "You Won't Miss Me."
Gina Abatemarco stars "You Won't Miss Me." (Factory 25 )

The twentysomething gal on the back of that motorcycle in the lo-fi indie "You Won't Miss Me" clings to the male driver with … what is that look? Worry? Excitement? Melancholy? Insanity?

Charting the turbulent emotional weather on the simultaneously opaque and intense face of star Stella Schnabel (artist Julian's daughter) is where most of the idiosyncratic punch lies in director Ry Russo-Young's semi-meandering portrait of a young, lovelorn, not-terribly-successful actress in New York City.

Schnabel's Shelly is a 23-year-old oddball fresh from a stint in a psychiatric hospital whose bad taste in men, alienating behavioral quirks and weird sense of personal integrity have a way of flaring up that at times seem more like professional self-destruction than free-spiritedness.

Semi-improvised and montage-heavy, Russo-Young's character study revels in an über-cheap aesthetic that in the initial going feels a little too loosely formed.

But thanks to Schnabel's gung-ho performance (is it good? Is it bad? Does it matter?) and some strong scenes — including a jealous tirade in an Atlantic City hotel room that leads Shelly's travel companion (Carlen Altman) to blurt out, "You're one of those people that's going to kill themselves in five years!" — the movie achieves its own nervy sensitivity about youthful urban despair.

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