***1/2 (out of four)
Absolutely gorgeous and just a tad too enamored with its style, “Hide Your Smiling Faces,” which was nominated for best narrative feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and a prize for a filmmaker’s first feature at the London Film Festival, distills young boys’ discovery of fear and mortality into a lyrical elegy for innocence. The lush scenery and minimal activity of Nowhere, America, could be a beautiful escape or a symbol of nothingness that needs to be fled. Nodding to (the overrated) Terrence Malick and early David Gordon Green, writer-director Daniel Patrick Carbone’s feature debut ripples as quietly as a lake while the characters experience familiar surroundings with new eyes. It has the tender, unexpected devastation of poetry.
Originally published during the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival
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