Simple Men

The third feature by Hal Hartley (The Unbelievable Truth, Trust) stars Robert Burke as a small-time computer criminal who’s just been betrayed by his girlfriend. He teams up with his younger brother (William Sage) to look for their runaway father, a radical activist, and in the course of their search they meet a couple of unusual women, the proprietress of an oyster bar (Karen Sillas) and an epileptic Romanian (Elina Lowensohn). Closer in spirit to the Godardian mannerism of Hartley’s shorts than to his more naturalistic previous featuresthough with the same impulse toward manic (and mantric) repetitionsthis has the best and funniest dialogue of any of his films. It’s not entirely clear where this 1992 movie winds up, but the journey is provocative. With Martin Donovan and Mark Chandler Bailey. R, 105 min. (JR)

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