Sometimes change is just one catalyst away. A powderkeg is always looking for a match, and in the case of “Nobody Walks”–a copy of which our friends at Magnolia sent for review–it might well have just been found.
“Nobody Walks” introduces us to Peter and his family–the powderkeg in question–who have just taken a young lady named Martine–the match–into their home. Peter is a sound designer who’s offering Martine some help getting her experimental art film together, and for the most part, things are going well. But the match’s arrival in the powderkeg is touching off all sorts of unexpected explosions, and that’s leaving Peter and his family forced to confront a possible whole new way of life thanks to Martine and her unexpected influence.
If it sounds like another mid-life crisis movie in the making, well, you’re not at all alone on that front. To some extent, of course, that will be going on in here. But the funny thing is, it’s not just Peter who’s thinking twice about things since Martine shows up. Peter’s wife is reconsidering things. His eldest daughter is looking to make some moves of her own. About the only person who doesn’t seem terribly impacted by Martine is Peter’s youngest son, whose purpose in the movie seems…vague…at best.
In fact, “vague” is a pretty good reaction to most of this film. Sometimes it will be wildly unclear what’s going on. Normally in movies like this the changes that happen to characters usually happen for the better. In this case it seems like no one really wanted the changes and yet here they are. It was enough to make me wonder if, maybe, “Nobody Walks” was just a temporary abbreviation, like the whole title should be “Nobody Walks Because They Have No Idea Where The Hell They’re Going”. This was a long, rambling affair that seemed to have minimal contact with reality or a coherent plot. It was Oscar fodder. Someone was going for indie cred or something and gave us this mushy nightmare of a movie.
The special features include audio options, your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, an interview with the director as well as with actress Olivia Thirlby, an AXS TV look at “Nobody Walks”, a deleted scene, and trailers for “Nobody Walks”, “Deadfall”, “Nature Calls”, “Jack and Diane”, “A Royal Affair”, and a preview for AXS TV. You can even watch Martine’s short film, “Scorpio”. Special note: it’s horrendous. Five minutes of incoherent garbage apparently shot from the point of view of two ants. It does, however, seem to use many of the sound effects Martine collected during her tenure with Peter and his family. There are even some BD-Live options here for those with connected Blu-ray players and the bandwidth to power them.
While “Nobody Walks” isn’t without its charms–Olivia Thirlby is great here as the bubbly, unfocused Martine–the problem is that the bubbly, unfocused nature of the lead actress is also a microcosm for the movie. Some will likely enjoy this. But for the most part, there are much better movies out there. Watch one of them instead.