CCFF 2018: Damsel

Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson appear in Damsel by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Adam Stone.

A wholly original film with a twist you never see coming, Damsel is a hysterical western from the minds of David Zellner and Nathan Zellner.

Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) has tracked down the location of the woman he plans to marry, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska).  As he sets through in his journey, he hires Parson Henry (David Zellner) to officiate the wedding when he finds his future bride in addition to a gift, a miniature horse called Butterscotch.  Samuel tells Parson Henry that Penelope is being held captive by Anton Cornell.  Along the way, they run into Anton’s brother, Rufus (Nathan Zellner).

There’s a lot to love and enjoy about the film.  There’s some bold storytelling choices on the Zellners’ part.  This works to the film’s credit but will no doubt be upsetting for some.  It’s a solid performance on part of both leads.  It’s not quite up there with Robert Pattinson’s performance in Good Time but he’s been making some solid choices in his career of late.

The film is the type of western that looks one way on paper but in reality, it’s a completely different film altogether.  Filmmakers don’t make westerns like they used to but Damsel may be the funniest to come around in years.

DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS:  David Zellner and Nathan Zellner
CAST:  Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, Joe Billingiere, and Robert Forster

An official selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, Damsel held its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Magnolia Pictures and Grace Point Media acquired the U.S. rights in March.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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