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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Movie Review - The Fits

The Fits (2016)
Starring Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblitt, Lauren Gibson, and Da'Sean Minor
Directed by Anna Rose Holmer
***This film is streaming via Amazon Prime***

Toni (Royalty Hightower) is a bit of a tomboy, training in the boxing ring with her brother (Da'Sean Minor) at a local community center in Cincinnati.  The eleven year-old girl thought she was satisfied being one of the guys, but she finds herself yearning to take part in the award-winning girls' dance team that trains in the same facility.  Unbeknownst to her brother, she goes to the dance tryouts and earns a spot in the troupe, but soon after several of the female team members start getting ill, having terrible, frightening spasms during practice.

The question of what exactly is causing these fits takes center stage in The Fits, the debut feature from writer-director Anna Rose Holmer, but it's not really what the film is about.  That said, I'm not really sure what the film is about.  At its crux, The Fits the story of young Toni trying to find herself, but the sickness infecting the girls overtakes things with its metaphor-like elusiveness standing in for either puberty or teenage anxiety or maybe even environmental safety.  The lack of a solid conclusion irritated me more than intrigued in large part because the film was set up as being based fully in reality and as the flick progresses, it unfortunately loses that grip.

I would've never guessed that The Fits was the debut acting performance for young Royalty Hightower.  Director Holmer really gets a lived-in, emotional, and physically engaging turn from the young actress.  It's Hightower's performance that kept me intrigued throughout the short 70-minute runtime.  Unfortunately, the rest of the film falls flat for this reviewer which is a hugely unpopular opinion amongst critics who were much more captivated than I was.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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