Unrated (strong language, adult situations); 83 min.
What's intriguing in The Color Wheel are the contradictions.
Director, co-writer and co-star Alex Ross Perry's film is shot in grainy, 16mm black and white, which results in images that are at once harsh and dreamlike. His characters, an obnoxious brother and sister (Perry and co-writer Carlen Altman), almost seem to thrive on offending everyone they meet, yet they're oddly intriguing. Their banter, a rapid-fire, brutally honest brand of sniping and mutual humiliation, has the free flow of improvisation but actually was tightly scripted. And just when it seems that these characters have finally allowed their truest selves to shine through, they do something that most people in the audience will find deplorable and even sickening.
The Color Wheel won't be for everyone, that's for sure, but its daring is undeniable.
The Color Wheel culminates with one long, mesmerizing take that runs about 10 minutes, in which Colin and JR sit on a couch and seemingly talk about nothing. But as you're watching it, and as the camera steadily inches in, you realize they're having the first pure conversation we've seen in the entire movie, and perhaps the first in their lives.
Exclusive: The Texas Theatre, Dallas
-- Christy Lemire, The Associated Press