Fantasia Film Review: ‘1Br’

  • Variety
The common nostalgia for an idealized simpler time in which tight-knit communities satisfied all personal needs can be warped to serve fascist ideologies, a notion that is not at all lost on “1Br.” In this thriller, a needy, insecure young woman thinks she’s lucked out in being accepted to an apartment complex where everyone is very, very neighborly. But she gradually learns this little utopia is in fact more of a prison — one with a brutal assimilation process, and where a sense of belonging comes at the cost of absolute conformity, or else.

Writer-director David Marmor’s first feature doesn’t make much of this concept’s potential as a timely political metaphor, nor does he maximize his opportunities in such other departments as suspense, character involvement and cinematic style. Still, the premise remains intriguing enough to make “1Br” a qualified success, albeit one whose ideas sometimes cry for
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