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The Independent Critic

Joachim Back
Anders Thomas Jensen, David Rakoff (Adaptation)
Vincent D'Onofrio, Kevin Corrigan, Liane Balaban, Jamie Harrold, David Rakoff
Running Time
20 Mins.

 "The New Tenants" Review 
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Despite a weak, almost amateurish start, Joachim Back's Oscar-nominated "The New Tenants" is a darkly humorous 20-minute short film that transcends its modest beginnings on the strength of its ensemble cast of character actors including widely recognized names such as Vincent D'Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan along with the film's standout, Jamie Harrold.

Harrold and David Rakoff play new tenants in an apartment they are about to learn has quite the history and may, in fact, still hold about a kilo of heroin that a certain fidgety chap would like to have back. Move-in day has never quite been this chaotic as the two encounter a rather batty old lady, a disgruntled spouse and the aforementioned thug who thinks the two may know more than they are saying.

Pawel Edelman's camera work stresses the film's darker themes, while an original score from Laurent Parisi makes "The New Tenants" feel a touch like Coen Brothers meet Scorsese for a brew.

The film seems to gain steam as it moves along, and having a known cast of under-appreciated character actors may very well help nudge the film up a notch or two. "The New Tenants" ends on a rather delightful, irreverent tone but it's not enough for director Joachim Back to take home the Oscar this year.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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