All About Nina


Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 5.9 10 1073


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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June 03, 2019 at 04:25 PM

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1hr 37 min
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1hr 37 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

Winstead owns it

Greetings again from the darkness. There are dark comedies and then there is the first feature film from director Eva Vives (although she wrote the screenplay for RAISING VICTOR VARGAS). It's really a dark drama with both feet in the stand-up comedy world, so we find ourselves laughing at the (profane) jokes, despite a lead character that is in desperate need of emotional salvation.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is dynamite as Nina Geld. And dynamite is meant to have two definitions here. She is terrific in the role, and she (her character) explodes with little notice. Nina Geld is definitely provocative. She is definitely a feminist. She is definitely funny, and she is most definitely messed up. We learn all of this in the first 5 minutes, and spend the rest of the movie waiting to see whether she self-destructs or is somehow saved.

We first see Nina as she delivers a set on stage at a comedy club. Her act is mostly about sex and the misery of relationships. We soon learn why she seems to have little happiness in life. The abusive married cop (Chace Crawford, Tony Romo's brother-in-law) she has been seeing interrupts the one-night stand she was looking forward to. It's quite unsettling to watch this unfold, and it seems to be the final straw needed to push Nina to relocate from New York City to Los Angeles. It's southern California where her agent (Angelique Cabral) has arranged for to audition for "Comedy Prime" - a one hour comedy special produced by Larry Michaels (played by Beau Bridges).

In L.A., Nina rooms with a stereotypical southern California "New Age" type (Cate del Castillo) who senses energy fields and remains quite civil in her arguments with her partner (played by Clea DuVall). Mostly we see what a damaged soul that Nina is, and bearing an unfair brunt are her mother (Camryn Manheim), her mom's friend (Mindy Sterling, AUSTIN POWERS), and a fellow comic (Jay Mohr).

When Nina meets Rafe (Common, in a rare leading man role), she begins to show her first signs of actual human connection. And of course she is confused by this, and her self-destructive being rears up. The big reveal as to the cause of Nina's constantly confused state (I don't believe the therapy sessions are working) is held back until late in the final act ... and it's a doozy that leads to a painfully honest on stage meltdown.

Ms. Winstead is really terrific here, and she is absolutely believable in her stand-up bits. In fact, the montage of impressions and her constant fine-tuning of the act are almost as good as the heavy drama pieces she excels at. The film itself is kind of a mash-up of stories, but it's her performance that keeps us onboard ... even as we question her character's stability (and incessant hair tussling).

Reviewed by biondo_jennifer 8 / 10

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Perfection.

An honest and moving film. Winstead is the heart of this performance. Do not miss it.

Reviewed by paul-allaer 7 / 10

"Just the right amount of screwed-up"... Marie Elizabeth Winstead shines!

"All About Nina" (2018 release; 98 min.) brings the story of Nina, a struggling stand-up comedian looking to break through. As the movie opens, Nina is doing a very R-rated gig in New York, and afterwards we see her with her abusive (and married) boyfriend. Nina decides that she needs a complete change of scenery, and moves to LA. After her first stand-up show there, she gets to know Rafe, a guy who seems to be too good to be true.... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the feature film writing and directing debut of Eva Vives (from Spain). Here, she takes some of her own life experiences and turns them into what initially appears to be a very raunchy comedy. However, the movie changes gear several times. As Nina (who claims she doesn't date) and Rafe get to know each other better, Nina finds herself in a confused spot."You keep being honest, what is wrong with you?", Nina exasperates early on. Later, Nina confesses to a friend that "He's just the right amount of screwed-up". Yet deeper into the movie, we find out more about Nina... All of this might be a bit too much or even suspicious, if it weren't for the dazzling performance of Marie Elizabeth Winstead as Nina. She leaves it all out there (literally) for this role. Common plays the mysterious Rafe a little too aloof in my book. The stand-up scenes (of which there are quite a few) feature both Nina and a number of other wannabe's and are quite good actually. Bottom line: this lil' movie turns out to be quite the character study (as deeply flas as that character may be), with along the way quite a few raunchy stand-up comedy.

"All About Nina" premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, and it finally opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this past weekend (for a limited 1 week run, according to the theater). The Sunday early evening screening was attended so-so (about 10 people). That's a shame, but maybe the movie will do better when it opens on other platforms. If you are interested in a character study that is at times dark and at times raunchy funny, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it at the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

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