You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Small, Beautifully Moving Parts

A slight but likable dramedy about a tech-savvy young woman who attempts to interface with her long-estranged mother.

With: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Richard Hoag, Andre Holland, Mary Beth Peil, Sarah Rafferty, Susan Kelechi Watson.

By turns precise and elliptical, like a meticulously crafted short story, “Small, Beautifully Moving Parts” is a slight but likable dramedy about a tech-savvy young woman who attempts to interface with her long-estranged mother while preparing to have a child of her own. Fest auds and homevid viewers may appreciate pic’s low-key charms, and casting directors would do well to note the fine performances by well-chosen players.

Filmmakers Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson balance road-movie discursiveness and seriocomic psychological observations while focused on Sarah (Anna Margaret Hollyman, engaging), who travels from Manhattan to Los Angeles for a baby shower hosted by her sister (Sarah Rafferty). Bothered by her ambivalence about becoming a mom, she decides to locate her itinerant mother (Mary Beth Peil), who severed family ties years earlier and now lives in an isolated desert community. The journey is more interesting than the final destination, as Sarah has amusing encounters with her loving dad (Richard Hoag), who’s conducting a long-distance romance via Skype, and the vivacious Towie (Susan Kelechi Watson), a novice masseuse who’s the sister of Sarah’s supportive lover (Andre Holland). Tech values are fine.

Popular on Variety

Small, Beautifully Moving Parts

Production: A Sacha Pictures production. Produced by Annie J. Howell, Lisa Robinson, Jennifer Dougherty. Executive producer, Yael Melamede. Co-producer, Jennifer Lee. Directed, written by Annie J. Howell, Lisa Robinson.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Charles E. Swanson; editor, Jennifer Lee; music, Xander Duell; music supervisor, Cindy Yoon. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, March 27, 2011. (In SXSW Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 72 MIN.

Cast: With: Anna Margaret Hollyman, Richard Hoag, Andre Holland, Mary Beth Peil, Sarah Rafferty, Susan Kelechi Watson.

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content