NOBODY WALKS is a beautifully made drama in which very little happens and yet the viewer feels intimately connected to each character, and invested in the emotional response to each situation. The performances are subtle and brave; the visual design of the film stylised and impactful: the overall effect one of establishing and maintaining an uneasy tone where seemingly banal occurrences hide emotional crises.
The single plot point that sets the movie off is the introduction of a newcomer to a family that is playing at being beautiful and privileged but evidently isn't functioning at a very basic level. The newcomer is vibrant, sexy Martine (Olivia Thirlby) - a young experimental filmmaker from New York. The family consists of psychologist Julie (Rosemarie Dewitt), her daughter Kolt (India Ennenga), her husband, Peter (John Krasinki) and their son. Peter is a sound designer helping Martine out with her film, but while he feels an attraction to her, its Martine that initiates the relationship. This doesn't go unnoticed by Julie, who is also facing temptation from her inappropriately keen patient (Justin Kirk). Meanwhile, the daughter, Kolt, is envious of Martine's flirtation with Peter's assistant David; equivocal about dating the sweet but unexciting Avi; and sleazed upon by her Italian tutor.
What I love about this film is that characters do things that may or may not be morally reprehensible but their motivations and the morality of their actions is always ambiguous and the more interesting for that. Is there something more honest in Peter's reaction to Martine than in Julie's response to her parents? And what are Martine's real motives? Is she consciously exploiting her sex appeal or a victim of men projecting their desires and assumptions onto her. It's this kind of provocation that makes NOBODY WALKS such an elusive and fascinating film. I hope it gets the distribution it deserves.
NOBODY WALKS played Sundance and Sundance London 2012. It will be released in the USA on October 12th 2012.The run-time is 83 minutes.