Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"White Reindeer": Unexpected Tragedy Is the Gift of the Season 

Wednesday, Dec 18 2013
Comments

White Reindeer Zach Clark's dark comedy lobs an indie rebuke at our annual obligation of trudging through prefab holiday cheer only to wind up waist-deep in shredded gift wrap and feeling the undertow. In that regard, White Reindeer goes on for a while without quite being part of the solution, but eventually delivers the seasonal moviegoing equivalent of double-spiking your eggnog. Anna Margaret Hollymon coolly glows as a bland suburban realtor who loves Christmas and her husband, but, during the fun familiar run-up to the big day, finds herself suddenly bereaved. Feeling hollowed out instead of holly-jolly, she's utterly at a loss. An online-shopping binge leads to fantasized fellowship with a sweater-model, and to hubby's incriminating browser history; soon she discovers, and befriends, the stripper (Laura Lemar-Goldsborough) with whom he had a fling. Helpfully, too, her sugar-cookie-sweet new neighbors (Lydia Hyslop, Joe Swanberg) greet the season with a swinging orgy. Clark overplays his widow-gone-wild hook, getting a tad too proud of the not-original suggestion that sickening Christmas-season consumption might actually be less healthy than a ladies' night of booze and blow. And his pacing seems unintentionally too dirge-like, even for a movie about working through grief. But ultimately he's done us a service; it's good to have available a film so genuinely sensitive to the particular emotional aches this season sometimes exacerbates.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

Bio:
SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"