Home Celebrity Ellen, Barkin’ Up Wrong Tree in “Sh!t Year”

Ellen Barkin either lost a bet or she’s being blackmailed. Either way, her presence in “Shit Year” at the Cannes Directors Fortnight is puzzling.

Cam Archer’s movie isn’t really even a movie. It’s a self indulgent raft ride into outer space, in which improvisation and meaningless yabbering take the place of movie making. I actually started to think during the interminable hour spent in the theater that “Cam Archer” might be a pseudonym for “Yoko Ono.” Looking at a fly would have been more fun.

Barkin is rockin’ the body of a teenager. She’s also smart as a whip. She can be proud of films like “Sea of Love” and “Diner.” She took some time off to raise kids and be Mrs. Ronald Perelman. Her choices now that she’s returning to acting have to be wiser.

In “Shit Year” –which doesn’t have a linear plot or a cinematographer–Barkin (I think) has an ill fated affair with a young from the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. It doesn’t work out so she retires (she plays an actress) to the country, where she walks around in overcoats and army boots. She has nonsensical conversations with a neighbor (Melora Walters) until the audience gets up leaves in frustration. Luke Grimes, who annoyingly almost killed the TV show “Brothers & Sisters”–plays the mannequin. Archer/Ono shoots beautiful Barkin in harsh light.

Where is that Neuralyzer from “Men in Black” when you need it?

Oh yeah, PS: the title. Are they kidding?

Image: PRphotos.com

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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