4 May 2015 | The_late_Buddy_Ryan
"Did you have to wear leather pants on parents' night?"
Don't much care for the clunky title, but we really loved this touching film memoir, set on Manhattan's Upper East Side in 1983. Thirteen-year-old Oliver has a jokey, extremely casual relationship with his bohemian mother, Luna (Spanish actress Pilar López de Ayala), and a deeper bond with the family's Chilean housekeeper, Aida (Mexican actress Adriana Barraza). When Aida falls ill, the family's thrown into chaos; Oliver's emotional meltdown is beautifully (and almost wordlessly) dramatized. W/d Steve Clark's naturalistic portrait of a pack of privileged kids in the year of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" also seems spot on—the boys acting tough and striking cool poses, the girls joining avidly in the boys' smutty talk, no parents in sight except the ultra-permissive Luna. We'd just watched the smirky Oscar winner, "Birdman," on Blu-ray; this modest film restored our faith in filmmaking as art and communication.