VIFF 2015: Charlotte’s Song is all over the map

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      Charlotte’s Song (Canada)  

      This indigestible stew of a movie comes across as a film-school project in which all the students were tasked with doing each sequence in a different genre. Individually, the stabs at dark drama, period whimsy, dust-bowl realism, and outright horror have some merit, and everything is pulled together, sort of, by Depression-era set design and Days of Heaven–meets–Boardwalk Empire cinematography.

      But the actors all look like actors, mouthing bad-TV dialogue, with most putting on baffling southern accents—except for Game of Thrones’ Welsh-born Iwan Rheon, who just sounds generically American.

      It’s ostensibly a musical too, but the songs are occasional, weak, and only reach vaguely for the period. In any case, the production numbers are too low-energy to raise a pulse or much interest, even when things lumber toward an obligatory Tarantino finish. The Bollywood-fantasy editing doesn’t help.