PIFF Recommendation: ‘The Fairy’

Written by Nick Bruno. This review has been re-published from the blog The Rain Falls Down on Portlandtown.

Fans of absurdist humor shouldn’t hesitate to rush out to one of the upcoming screenings of The Fairy, the newest comedy from the French acting/directing trio of Dominique AbelFiona Gordon and Bruno Romy (L’icebergRumba).  How to begin talking about this one?  It’s a film powered by it’s own off-kilter logic, beginning with a woman (Gordon) walking into the lobby of a hotel, bluntly declaring herself a fairy and offering the desk clerk (Abel) three wishes.  Odd as that sounds, the truly weird and wonderful thing about that moment (and the majority of what follows) is the wide-eyed acceptance by these characters of everything and anything that the story throws at them.

Take for instance, the romantic underwater dance scene that paves the way for a baby to enter the narrative.  Any other film that might orchestrate as pleasurably surreal a sequence as this would likely have it spring from the dream state of one of its characters.  Not at all the case inThe Fairy.  The scene, which comes off as some kind of hybridized love child of the classic output of Buster Keaton and the Fleischer brothers, is played completely straight, as if there is no distinction between the reality of the hotel and the undersea dance palace where Dom and Fiona boogie the night away.

I’d never seen anything by Abel, Gordon and Romy before catching The Fairy (something I’ve since remedied with a home viewing of L’iceberg).  Their style strikes me as a fresh, revisionist take on farce that regularly slips into extremely amusing displays of whimsy.

There’s really no one to whom I wouldn’t recommend this film, unless there’s someone out there with a grudge against laughter and fun.  It’s entirely fine for older kids, although it certainly isn’t aimed at a children’s audience.  It isn’t often that something with the potential to have such a wide demographic appeal plays the art house circuit (the last example I can think of is A Town Called Panic).  Seriously, don’t miss it, okay?

“The Fairy” screens tonight, Feb. 14th at the Lake Twin Cinema at 8:30 p.m. 

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