July’s First

Though its action is largely confined to a few blocks of an unidentified American suburb, the spellbinding charm of performance artist Miranda July’s debut feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know, is something universal. Children long to grow up, adults grasp at the lost innocence of youth, and all are prone to those great, impulsive gestures that spring forth from the terror of loneliness. The movie is a romance of sorts between a shoe salesman (the remarkable John Hawkes) who’s been burned both by love and by fire and a wide-eyed video artist (July) who makes ends meet as a chauffeur for the elderly while making inroads into a cynical gallery world. He believes the right pair of shoes can change a person’s life; she makes videos in which two slippers have a conversation with each other. But there are many other characters and many other wondrous sights­ — from a goldfish that leaps precariously between two cars in motion to a city street that stretches the precise distance of a human relationship. Me and You and Everyone We Know is by turns comic and tender, tragic and absurd. But throughout, it gives off what is surely one of the greatest of moviegoing pleasures — the sense of an artist seeing the world from some private vantage that is as original as it is truthful. ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW | Written and directed by MIRANDA JULY| Produced by HOLLY BECKER | Released by IFC Films | At the Nuart

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