Capsule Review: DAMSEL

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The Zellner Bros.' DAMSEL is worth the price of admission for Robert Forster's opening monologue alone. Forster is a cinematic treasure, and if you've seen Quentin Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN, Haskell Wexler's MEDIUM COOL, or 1980's ALLIGATOR (where he fights a giant Alligator -- the title is no secret), then you will agree. 

So you've already got your money's worth for this scene, and the rest of the movie is such good fun, so you don't have anything to lose here. 

DAMSEL stars Robert Pattinson -- who I've grown to deeply admire over the last few years for his pure dedication to independent cinema -- as Samuel, a not-too-bright pioneer traveling through the Old West with the hopes of rescuing his alleged true love, Penelope (played by Period Piece Princess, Mia Wasikowska.) 

DAMSEL reminds me of the Coen Bros. It's an unconventional western that turns the genre upside down on its head. This topsy-turvy is the wackiest and most hysterical western I've seen in a long time.

What makes DAMSEL so funny is Pattinson's dedicated performance as dimwit Samuel; he puts in 100% in every indie role he takes, just like he did last year in the Safdie Brother's excellent GOOD TIME. His Samuel is a lunatic with good intentions but lacks common sense, logic, respect, and every trait a human needs to live an honest and respectable life. If Samuel had any friends, they would probably describe him as "not all there." This dimwit sells DAMSEL's grounded story about a man willing to risk it all to get his love back. We've seen this formula in movies a dozen times, but it's rarely ever this much fun.