Janicza Bravo writes and directs Lemon, a sharp comedy that revolves around the character of Isaac (Joshy and Stranger Things’ Brett Gelman), an obnoxious acting teacher who has an absurd and disconcerting way of relating to his surroundings. The writing teamwork of Bravo and Gelman turns what could have been a redundant and insufferable story into an 83 minutes feat building toward the final crescendo. Its writers display a humorous and exuberant vision of a character whom, even if Isaac is hardly likeable, the viewer comes to tolerate and understand. The baffling get-go, featuring the particular theatrical duo of Michael Cera (Juno) and Gillian Jacobs (Community), might lead the audience to hasty conclusions. However, scene after scene, the audience learns more about the peculiar character of Isaac and, during the climax of the infamous family dinner scene, we end up understanding where he comes from and where he belongs.
A real opinion-divider that is likely to result in many debates outside of the movie theatre, Lemon is one of the most controversial and unique films of this edition of Americana. Very rarely will viewers have the opportunity to see a story in which such diverse elements so strangely fit together: the Buster Keaton quality of Isaac, the references to absurdity not unlike the ones in Fassbinder and Woody Allen’s movies and the odd fact that Michael Cera plays one of the most common characters in the film.
2017: Sundance Film Fesival
2017: Jury Award – Monmouth Film Festival
2017: SXSW Festival
2017: Sarasota Film Festival
Runtime: 83 min
Direction: Janicza Bravo
Screenplay: Janicza Bravo, Brettt Gelman
Cinematography: Jason McCormick
OST: Heather Christian
Cast: Brett Gelman, Michael Cera, Gillian Jacobs, Rhea Perlman
Subtitles: Antti Savinen