For a film about renowned artists, Little Ashes lacks style and imagination, a cumbersome clutter of poorly constructed scenes and amateurish acting.
A bland tale of Salvador Dali’s relationship with Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán) attempts to explore a speculative sexual experimentation during the 20′s, a time for revolution and visionaries. Their lavish, homoerotic exploits are meant to shed the era’s repressed nature, but are told with little passion or conviction in a wholly pedestrian plot. The film is simply a paradox of stock storytelling for extraordinary figures.
The presence of Robert Pattinson from Twilight fame only gathers a wider audience for an undeserving work, and the portrait of a tortured artist will only be a torturous affair for his young fans. Pattinson barely transforms from his vampiric role as a brooding romantic into a brooding painter, forcing a delivery in a fleeting accent and overreacting to his cohorts. The only thing positive about Pattinson’s performance is the laugh he gets when emerging with Dali’s up-turned mustache.
The actors converse in English and speak in unnatural, lyrical stanzas, as if crafting spontaneous poetry to each rather than engaging in authentic dialogue. It’s 112-minute run time drags like the clocks of Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” and the character arcs sag all the same.
Paul Morrison’s period drama is tedious and pretentious, a muddy canvas of stiff performances and melodramatic music that inspires nothing but unintentional laughter. Little Ashes should be scattered over a dumpster.
1 out of 5.