May 5, 2020  (Web Review)

Me and You and Everyone We Know

Criterion, 91 min., R, DVD: $29.95, Blu-ray: $39.95, Apr. 28

Reviewer rating: 3.5/4

Writing in VL-9/05, reviewer MaryAnn Johanson said:A film that defies categorization–and one sure to make viewers uncomfortable in the aggressive incisiveness of its observations about ordinary life–performance artist/writer Miranda July’s feature debut starts out like one of those oddball little flicks about realistic people concerned with non-Hollywood topics such as working in boring jobs and raising kids. People like Christine Jesperson (July), who drives seniors around Los Angeles for a living while she creates bad art that no one wants to buy, or Richard Swersey (John Hawkes), who wears cheap suits and sells ugly shoes in a low-end department store, and tries to manage his disaffected sons after a divorce. Me and You and Everyone We Know ultimately turns into anti-entertainment, something defiantly and disconcertingly un-movie-like, with its achingly poignant and wise story of a daisy chain of forlorn people living precarious lives of quiet sorrow, consistently thwarted in their attempts to connect with others. A bracing and artistic cinematic slap in the face, this film festival favorite won honors at Cannes, Sundance, and the Independent Spirit Awards).” Bowing on Blu-ray with a high-def digital transfer, extras include a conversation between director July and Lena Dunham, a short documentary on an art project July created in collaboration with Artangel featuring an interfaith charity shop, a 2005 self-interview by July, footage from the 2003 Sundance Directors Lab (where July workshopped Me and You and Everyone We Know), two short films by July, four short films from July’s Joanie 4 Jackie video chain letter project (and a documentary on same), deleted scenes, and a booklet with essays by artist Sarah Magenheimer and novelist Lauren Groff. Highly recommended. (R. Pitman)