An Oversimplification of Her Beauty – review | Mark Kermode

A bewildering tale of a love foretold mixes animation, Q&As and stop-motion footage to humorous effect
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, other films
'Wildly ambitious': An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.
'Wildly ambitious': An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.
Mark Kermode
Sat 8 Feb 2014 19.01 EST

Where to start in describing Terence Nance's wildly ambitious multimedia chronicle of a love foretold? Mixing (what looks like) authentic home movie footage with psychedelic animation, on-screen text (redacted and scratched), public Q&As, bookish chapter headings, interrogative narration and an entire short film (How Would You Feel?), which is wound, rewound, screened, discussed, reinvented and dismissed within the course of the main feature, this is mind-boggling fare indeed.

But for all the outlandish invention and formal obfuscation, there's an overriding sense of honesty as Nance investigates an on/off relationship that he may or may not be having with his on-screen co-star, while simultaneously deconstructing his own film-making process. It's funny, too, both in its observations about the lovelorn mania of human behaviour and its deadpan poking at Nance's tortured soul. The stop-motion footage alone is worth the price of admission.

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