Here’s what you need to know about Wetlands: Carla Juri, who plays the central character, is terrific in it. She gives one of the most magnetic performances I’ve seen all year; she’s captivating to watch, no matter what goes on in the film. And Wetlands definitely tries to push buttons. Juri plays a young woman who has slightly more exaggerated relationship with sex and her body than most people. She’s given to flights of fancy, and impulsive behavior. After she suffers an intimate and unusual injury she’s put in a position where many of her simmering problems come to the surface. Check out the Wetlands trailer below. (Technically this isn’t a red-band trailer, but you should probably approach it as if it were.)
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There’s one really good reason to see the German film Wetlands, and her name is Carla Juri. She’s a firecracker; I keep hearing people refer to her as “the German Greta Gerwig,” and the comparison is easy to see. But Juri has her own skills and appeal, and her performance is the most watchable one I’ve seen so far at Sundance this year.
That’s saying something, as the subject matter of Wetlands can be… off-putting. The story hinges on — and there’s no delicate way to put this — an anal fissure suffered by Juri’s character Helen during a grooming session gone wrong. Helen is a young woman who has an unusually deep body consciousness; she’s more intimately in touch with her body than any young woman in a recent film. While she’s a prat clearly damaged by her parents’ divorce, Helen is still a promising, even inspiring character. By the end, however, Wetlands throws away her potential in favor of a too-familiar quirky love story.
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