The Guatemalan Handshake | Chicago Reader

The Guatemalan Handshake

Todd Rohal's debut feature is a classic example of what I like to call magic Skeeterism, a school of gently satirical small-town fantasy. Will Oldham, the prince of podunk, plays a local oddball who vanishes after a strange electrical power outage; also missing in action is a little dog whose heartbroken owner, a lumpish old woman named Ethel Firecracker, crisscrosses the town like a simpleminded Ancient Mariner. The story, such as it is, culminates in a demolition derby, but more illustrative of the movie's allure is its closing shot of a little girl on a carnival ride, watching the universe whirl around her. 96 min.


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