Reviewer's grade: A-
Some people will hate "Paranoid Park." Its fractured narrative, nonlinear progression and mix of stylistic flourishes are likely to piss off moviegoers who like their drama free of pretension and ambiguity. Those folks have a right to their opinion, of course, but more adventurous cinephiles might just wind up spellbound.
Writer-director Gus Van Sant ("Good Will Hunting," "Elephant") burrows deeply into the mind of Alex (Gabe Nevins), a sullen, nondescript teenager skateboarder whose psyche is shattered after a horrific event occurs at a Portland, Ore., skate park. Based on a young-adult novel by Blake Nelson, the film twists and swoops through time before eventually revealing Alex' s terrible secret. That's OK; the journey is mesmerizing.
Van Sant is a fascinating, if not always successful, filmmaker, but "Paranoid Park" achieves a lyricism and consistency of vision that has eluded some of his movies in recent years. Playing Thursday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art exclusively. R
"? Phil BacharachTrailer