#SUNDANCE: “MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Teenage delinquent Sammy Ko (Miya Cech) is going through a hard time. She’s still mourning the loss of her mother, and her father’s (Leonardo Nam) blooming relationship with Marianne (Pauline Lule) isn’t helping. However, life slowly becomes easier to handle when she has a chance encounter with magician Margot (Rhea Perlman). As Margot teaches Sammy the art of magic a bond develops that nourishes them both.
Marvelous and the Black Hole is a hilarious and heartwarming film. The central storyline involves a young girl dealing with her grief. This could slip into drama territory, but Writer-Director Kate Tsang builds her Script with honest humour that creates a quirky comedy. At the heart of her story is the theme of family. She takes us for a magical ride with two characters who are equally delightful — especially when Sammy is seeping in teenage angst.
Writing a young teen female character like Sammy, who smokes and has a short-fuse, is original on-screen. However, Sammy is an accurate depiction of the inner emotions and outward actions of many teenage girls (specifically those suffering). Tsang has perfectly cast this feisty and charming character with newcomer Cech. At such a young age she delivers each line like a pro, making us laugh and empathize from beginning to end. She has great chemistry with Perlman who is wonderful as Margot.
As the story unfolds, we learn more about Margot and how she’s yearning for her long-lost family, just as Sammy aches for her mother. This is the tie that binds these two kooky characters together, along with the magic; which is exciting to watch, especially when done in one frame with no edits.
Marvelous and the Black Hole screens at Sundance:
Live Screening: January 31 at 12 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): February 2 at 10 AM (EST)