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Friday, March 28, 2014

You Don't Have to Like the National to Love Mistaken for Strangers

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Mistaken for Strangers, the terrific documentary on the band the National, finally receives a proper engagement in Portland starting today. You can read Ezra's review here, and you should; also, here's what I wrote when the movie played at last year's Reel Music film festival:
[It's] a hilarious and heartwarming documentary from Tom Berninger, younger brother of the National's lead singer Matt Berninger. Tom, an amateur filmmaker who still lives with mom and dad, is enlisted to join the National's tour as a roadie. He brings his camera along, intending to make the definitive backstage tour documentary—but most of what he captures is his own failure to fulfill the simple tasks assigned to him. While the younger Berninger's initial buffoonery is roll-on-the-floor hilarious, watching him mature on film and deal with sibling rivalry turns Mistaken for Strangers into something far better than another rock 'n' roll road doc. The result is a thoughtful, transformative, honest, immensely loveable movie.
Maybe you're a fan of the National, maybe you're not. I truly don't think you need to be one to love Mistaken for Strangers. It's barely about the National's music, for a start—actually, the overriding theme of Tom Berninger's movie is that of sibling rivalry, as rich and thorny a subject as could be asked for in a documentary. Most of all, though, this movie is just fucking funny. I'm glad Portland audiences have a chance to check it out in theaters this week. It opens at the Hollywood tonight, with screenings nightly at 9:45.


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