Movie Review: “Felt”

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Amy had a bad breakup, probably the latest of many. She’s an artist, so her post-breakup grief is an unusually deep wallow in self-pity.
But self-pity, in this case, leads to self-expression. After friends have helped her cope with changes in her Facebook status, the feeling that “I’m never safe” and suicidal talk of “Is there a way NOT to dream?”, she starts building alter egos to soothe her wounded psyche.
When one friend won’t agree to her “Let’s go on a killing spree,” Amy starts sewing masks, brassieres and genitally–endowed panties, therapy made from felt. And then, she goes on the warpath in the San Francisco dating scene, trying on these new personae to unsuspecting blind dates.
“Felt” is sort of a mumblecore psychodrama, an exploration of victimhood and one woman’s role-playing to escape it.
Amy Everson stars as the a skinny, sadfaced 20something heroine, Amy, struggling with a descent into madness.
It starts with being rude to assorted blind dates and escalates to showing up for paid “photo sessions” (she wears a nude costume of her own design) and taunting the pervy photographer.
And then Kenny (filmmaker/actor Kentucker Audley) comes into her life. Like a pop starlet who loses her tortured love-gone-wrong ballads, Amy’s attitude turns around. Only her best friend (Roxanne Lauren Knouse) isn’t fooled.
Jason Banker, who directed and co-wrote the script with Everson, makes “Felt” a cloth-covered navel-gazer of a melodrama — doling out Amy’s shocking costumes and “statements” here and there amongst endless scenes of her muddling through her misery. Everson has a mildly disturbed girl-next-door screen presence, here — capable of anything, or anything a feather-weight manic depressive might manage.
For all its shocks, “Felt” doesn’t serve up many surprises, just a lot of moping and talking and talking about moping, dates that go nowhere, men behaving badly, Amy behaving worse. The germ of an idea is here. I’m just not sure it’s worth more than a shorter film than this one, which at 80 minutes is a bit of a drag.

1half-star

MPAA Rating: unrated, with graphic sexual content, profanity, violence

Cast: Amy Everson, Kentucker Audley, Roxanne Lauren Knouse
Credits: Directed by Jason Banker, script Jason Banker and Amy Everson . An Amplify release.

Running time: 1:20

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