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Vengeance

1 hour 47 minutes

R

Maine Film Center

Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, Waterville, ME

A hosannah from Variety's film critic, Owen Gleiberman, greeted the premiere of B.J. Novak’s VENGEANCE: "An irresistible original — a heady, jaunty, witty-as-they-come tall tale that's just grounded enough in the real world to carry you along. It's at once an ominous heartland murder mystery; a culture-clash comedy that finds Ben Manalowitz (played by Novak), an acerbic New Yorker writer and podcaster, descending into the bleak depths of West Texas; and a meditation on blue state/red state values that gradually evolves into something larger — a cosmic riff on how the two sides of America are working, nearly in tandem, to tear the country apart. Novak, an actor best known for his role on "The Office" (where he also served as a writer, executive producer, and director), brings off what could have been a rickety conceit as if he were holding the audience in the palm of his hand. 'Vengeance,' which he wrote and directed (it's his first feature), has been made with such confidence and verve, and it's held together by a vision — of loss, ambition, addiction, conspiracy theory, and how we're all victims of the contemporary image culture — that is so wide awake and sharp-edged, it marks the arrival of a potentially major filmmaker."

Daily at 6:50; also Sat. and Sun. at 12:30

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