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The week’s critic wrangle: “Twelve and Holding,” “The King.”

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Hell is adolescence.
+ "Twelve and Holding": "L.I.E."‘s Michael Cuesta returns with another shocking look at teenage suburban life as — Armond White writes in the NY Press, he has "what Truffaut called an ‘idée fixe.’ He’s stuck on recreating adolescent trauma, examining that period when sex and social rules don’t come together satisfactorily." White, who liked "L.I.E.", is not impressed by "Twelve and Holding," which he believes "offers no revelation." Dennis Lim at the Village Voice goes further: "[S]triking in both its confidence and its incoherence…Cuesta’s new poisoned valentine to adolescence, a tragicomedy of pubertal acting out, is likewise premised on the clueless self-involvement of parents and the innate wisdom of children." He does, however, add that "Cuesta has a real skill—or maybe a perverse gift—for coaxing persuasive performances from young actors."

At the New York Times, on the other hand, Stephen Holden thinks it’s a "poignant, beautifully acted film," and likes everything except the ending. And at indieWIRE, this week’s Reverse Shot three, Michael Koresky, Kristi Mitsuda and James Crawford, are mixed: Koresky finds the film melodramatic and tonally imbalanced, Mitsuda interesting if imperfect, and Crawford initially admirable but ultimately merely a collection of cheap shots.


Soak up the sun.+ "The King": "Has William Hurt ever been this perfectly cast?" writes New York‘s David Edelstein of James Marsh‘s narrative debut. Edelstein’s fond of it, calling it a "tender psycho love story" that "makes ‘Down in the Valley’ look like ‘Field of Dreams.’ " Michael Atkinson at the Village Voice is also won over by Hurt ("Probably no other actor standing today could’ve brought this much juice to such a potentially simplistic character") and suggests that "despite a story that’s as lackadaisical as it is programmatic, ‘The King’ has a hypnotically naturalist vibe." Manohla Dargis at the New York Times thinks the film is "fitfully engaging, finally exasperating," though she does like the performances.

And at indieWIRE‘s Reverse Shot review, Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert and Brad Westcott see fit to make the film a stand-in for all that is wrong with, as Reichert puts it, "a certain strain of aggressively average American Independent film that continues to lurk around the peripheries of the scene." C’mon now, what did it ever do to deserve that?

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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