[Ruby Hornet will be attending the 49th Chicago International Film Festival from 10/10 - 10/24. Be sure to follow along as we bring you coverage from the longest-running competitive international film festival in the country. You can find all of our coverage from this year's CIFF here.]
Hide Your Smiling Faces
Director: Daniel Patrick Carbone
Country: United States
CIFF Screenings: October 14, 2013 (6:15pm), October 16, 2013 (6:30pm), October 22, 2013 (1:30pm)
Hide Your Smiling Faces takes place in a rural, densely-forested town where kids play in the woods and swim in lakes. While light on plot, the film nudges its main protagonists, brothers Tommy and Eric, along following the death of their young friend. Other reviews have compared writer/director Daniel Patrick Carbone’s style as Terrence Malick-esque, and I have to agree to a point. Not much happens in terms of plot in Hide Your Smiling Faces, per se; rather, the film is more interested in examining the effects of the child’s death on Tommy and Eric.
In any other film, this would result in plodding along with time achingly slowing down to a halt. In Hide Your Smiling Faces, however, it’s poetic and inquisitive. The amazing cinematography helps accentuate the atmospheric nature of the film. Heh, funny I mention nature, as both the nature of life and death and Nature as the physical setting of the film are Hide Your Smiling Faces‘ two biggest themes.
As I continued writing this capsule review, I began to realize exactly how Malick-esque this film really is. Take the best parts of Tree of Life, dust off any lingering scenes of confusion, frame it in a coming-of-age drama, and you’ll Hide Your Smiling Faces. If you can only see a select few films at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival, make sure you see Hide Your Smiling Faces.
Score: 8 out of 10