A scene from "I am not a hipster." (Handout )
"I Am Not a Hipster" is the kind of lovingly crafted, deeply affecting drama that gives small indie films a good name. It's also a terrific showcase for first-time feature writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton and his superb leading man, Dominic Bogart.
The San Diego-set movie tracks one particularly trying week in the life of Brook Hyde (Bogart), a talented musician so completely at odds with himself — and his art — he can barely function; a seemingly decent guy drowning in bad behavior (his explosive radio interview with an earnest DJ, well-played by Brad William Henke, is a corker).
He's also desperately haunted by his beloved mother's death.
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Still, the way Brook lights up around his three younger sisters (Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman and Kandis Erickson, all winning) when they come to town to spread their mom's ashes or his warm interaction with the grade-schoolers he's substitute teaching shows who the real Brook has been — and maybe still can be.
A wistful, eleventh hour chat with his estranged father (Michael Harding) is also especially lovely, as are those fleeting moments when Brook finds his musical groove (Bogart performs some fine songs written for the movie by Joel P. West).
As Brook's eager artist pal, Clarke, the endearing Alvaro Orlando also proves a special talent.
"Hipster" is a film to discover — and to relish.
"I Am Not a Hipster." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes. At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.
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