Mysterious, beautiful and youthful.
These words often describe some of the best films to play the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival. However, in the case of Andrew Droz Palermo’s “One & Two” the words couldn’t be more fitting.
A story of two unique and magical siblings, “One & Two” was the best film shown at SXSW 2015 and has finally officially arrived on video-on-demand (VOD) services in Austin on Friday. However, many national and local services including Austin cable services like AT&T U-Verse didn’t add the film until early Saturday.
However, that wait to check out this indie wonder should be worth it for Austinites. “One & Two” is far from your typical indie film festival success. Everything about the film glows, mystifies and dazzles without feeling overwhelming or over-explained.
As the young Eva (Kiernan Shipka) and Zac (Timothee Chalamet) deal with the discovery of a supernatural ability, their family begins to suffer from an ever intensifying domestic crisis affecting every member of the household. As the family deals with tragedy during said crisis, the siblings must deal with the perceived consequences of their ability while emotionally maturing at an accelerated rate.
What keeps Palermo’s “One & Two” so engrossing is the persisting sense of wonder even in the sense of crisis and difficulty. Nothing about the backstory of the family or the early years of the siblings’ childhood is explicitly explained. In fact, in a stroke of brilliance, Palermo and his co-writer Shahdadi keep even the time period in which the film takes place and the nature of the family’s living arrangements a secret for much of the 90 minute running time.
While the intricate story provides the base, the final element that made “One & Two” the best film of SXSW and a indie treasure is the aesthetics. Thanks to the warm and smooth cinematography of Autumn Durald and the haunting music of Nathan Halpern, “One & Two” is able to establish the proper tone and feel needed to carry a daring and fantastical film like this one.
Quite simply, this film can be described as “magical Malick” without the 20 minute cutaway nature sequences. An early contender for my favorite film of the year (indie or non), “One & Two” will hopefully leave Austin and the entire country in a prolonged sense of awe and wonder like the one I personally experienced at SXSW.
“One & Two” is now playing on many VOD services in Austin and nationwide. Check your favorite VOD/on-demand service for more info.