Uncompelling but moderately engaging throughout due to its attractive cast and closeup look at contemporary spiritual ennui, Bodies, Rest & Motion is both flashy and laid-back, eventful and static. Script feels as if it knows whereof it speaks.
Set in a sun-baked, fictional Arizona town called Enfield that is all malls and fast-food pit stops, the sharp-looking film looks at four young people coping with a malaise that seems neither easily diagnosable nor curable. Adapted by Roger Hedden from his own play, piece betrays its theatrical origins by taking place over one weekend mostly in a house shared by agitated, dissatisfied Tim Roth and his unfocused g.f., Bridget Fonda.
In the opening scene, Roth tells former g.f. Phoebe Cates, now Fonda’s best friend, that they have decided to move to the ‘city of the future’ – Butte, Montana – and are packing up. However, Roth hits the road on his own, leaving the distraught Fonda alone with a pile of furniture and dope-smoking housepainter Eric Stoltz, and the new couple soon get it on.
Michael Steinberg, who makes his solo debut here after co-directing The Waterdance, is good with the actors, and the more intimate the scene, the more effectively it registers. However, many scenes don’t really have much going on in them, resulting in a relatively low-impact experience.