Shit Year Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Renowned actress Colleen West aban­dons her suc­cess­ful career for a secluded life in the hills. But the quiet and peace of mind she longed for is dis­rupted by the noisy con­struc­tion of neigh­bor­ing hous­ing devel­op­ments. Before long, Colleen dis­cov­ers that she really can’t stand her­self now that she has given up the only thing that she has ever truly been pas­sion­ate about. As an alter­na­tive to iso­la­tion, she reluc­tantly befriends her jubi­lant, whim­si­cal neigh­bor and recon­nects with her estranged brother who drops by unan­nounced after hear­ing about her retire­ment. Haunted by lone­li­ness and past desires, Colleen begins to feel as if she has lived her life through the char­ac­ters she has played on stage and screen. Ulti­mately, she is forced to con­front loss, her fail­ures and mis­takes, by reliv­ing a recent affair with younger actor Har­vey West whom she met dur­ing her final stage per­for­mance. Real­ity becomes insep­a­ra­ble from Colleen’s unhinged obses­sions in a hal­lu­ci­na­tory strug­gle to accept her own vul­ner­a­bil­ity and reclaim herself. (Cinemad Presents) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Heath Jr.
    Sep 27, 2011
    Shit Year is a thematic twin to Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard," both heightened fables about the slow disintegration of a retired actress mourning her now-dead career by retreating inward.
  2. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Sep 20, 2011
    Barkin is often fascinating in playing a character who, in both her heroic bitchery and hysterical sadness, is more of a concept than a person, in a film that ultimately seems to be "about" nothing more or less than the actress' magnetic face.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 21, 2011
    Ellen Barkin puts on a bold, candid performance in Cam Archer's Shit Year, but the enigmatic movie is composed of too many fragments to sustain her efforts.
  4. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Sep 23, 2011
    A protegé of Gus Van Sant, Archer -- who also makes short films and music videos -- has a wild imagination he has trouble harnessing. He doesn't know the meaning of "too much." But Barkin, in short, blond hair, is superb, as usual, and Aaron Platt's cinematography is stunning. Here's hoping Archer gets his s - - t together in feature No. 3.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 20, 2011
    Shot in handsome, often vividly contrasting black and white, "____ Year" weighs in as an attempt at poetic expressionism, a bid to create a visual representation of Colleen's diffuse and fragmented mind. Mr. Archer's narrative ambitions are laudable, and some of his images (the cinematographer is Aaron Platt) are striking, though a lot of scenes also look like glossy fashion magazine layouts come to relative life. These poses and pretty rooms may accurately reflect Colleen's visual aesthetic, the world she inhabits or wants to, but whether hers or Mr. Archer's, it's not compelling.
  6. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 20, 2011
    Barkin may be the equal of Gena Rowlands or Liv Ullmann. Her director's clumsiness, however, suggests he isn't fit to hold Cassavetes's or Bergman's old camera cases.