DAMSEL Unclassified 18+
The team behind MIFF 2014’s Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter reshape the western into an off-kilter comedy, but don’t go branding Robert Pattinson’s besotted businessman a hero – or Mia Wasikowska’s abducted bride-to-be a damsel, either.
Pattinson (MIFF 2017’s Good Time and The Lost City of Z) and Wasikowska (Piercing, also screening this year) play Samuel Alabaster and his bride-to-be Penelope; however, a vast expanse of prairie, a stalking brute (co-director Nathan Zellner) and plenty of secrets stand in the way of their wedded bliss. Embarking upon a rescue quest when Penelope is ostensibly kidnapped, Samuel buys a miniature horse and enlists the help of a drunken preacher (co-director David Zellner). Alas, it’ll take more than the ambling posse’s efforts – or Samuel’s humorous ditty ‘Honeybun’ – to save the couple’s romance.
With the Zellner brothers writing, directing and appearing on screen, Damsel heads to the Old West with comic subversion in mind, touching upon everything from gender to race to class on its amusing, surprising journey.
"Few filmmakers earn the adjective ‘offbeat’ as definitively as the Zellner brothers … a goof on the genre in which no trope is left unmolested and nothing goes the way it’s supposed to." – Vulture
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