Imagine if Amelie got dirty. And that Amelie's love interest had pink eye, tended bar at a strip club and only liked her for her blowjobs. That's Nathan Silver's art-house comic drama Thirst Street. Anjelica Huston narrates this bizarre storybook tale about an American flight attendant, Gina (Lindsay Burdge), who falls for a deadbeat Frenchman, Jerome (Damien Bonnard), while on a layover.
Normally, I'm eager for a story about a woman humiliating herself for love, but the tone of this fanciful film at times struck me as all wrong. Huston's voiceover is adorably twee, reminiscent of Wes Anderson's films, where narrators seem to be reading from a leather-bound book over twinkly, jangly music. That doesn't quite jibe with Gina's growing obsession with Jerome. Huston's role is even more off-putting because there seems no real narrative need for it, other than explaining an already not very complicated story -- though I can't blame a director for wanting to get Huston involved.
Through some unconventional camera angles and placements that work to his advantage, Silver finds better footing. His close-ups on characters' eyes are particularly effective, suggestive of a developing paranoia. Often, gels wash entire scenes with pinks and blues for a kind of dizzying surreality. Burdge is legitimately a little scary as Gina, while riding that line of being adorable and naive, and Bonnard bumbles into a few solid laughs. But overall, the film was a bit lifeless and never quite took off with a real destination.