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SXSW Film Review: ‘Sword of Trust’

SXSW Film Review: ‘Sword of Trust’

There are few chores more taxing on the film festival circuit than sitting through an improv-based comedy whose performers don’t have the skill set to pull it off — an unfortunate sight that’s been turning up all too regularly since “Waiting for Guffman” made well-executed improv comedy look deceptively easy nearly a quarter-century ago. The considerable pleasure of Lynn Shelton’s latest “Sword of Trust” is that everyone onscreen is so good at this kind of work that one wishes more tightly scripted comedy screenplays had such savory dialogue, or inspired character conceptions.

A shaggy-dog tale that throws together a handful of strangers seeking profit from an alleged Civil War artifact, “Sword of Trust” is light and loose, the kind of movie likely to illicit chuckles if seen at home (rather than the guffaws it earned from receptive crowds at its SXSW premiere). But in its small way, it

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