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'Hide Your Smiling Faces' review: Beautiful innocence lost

April 10, 2014|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

***1/2 (out of four)

Absolutely gorgeous and just a tad too enamored with its style, “Hide Your Smiling Faces,” which was nominated for best narrative feature at the Tribeca Film Festival and a prize for a filmmaker’s first feature at the London Film Festival, distills young boys’ discovery of fear and mortality into a lyrical elegy for innocence. The lush scenery and minimal activity of Nowhere, America, could be a beautiful escape or a symbol of nothingness that needs to be fled. Nodding to (the overrated) Terrence Malick and early David Gordon Green, writer-director Daniel Patrick Carbone’s feature debut ripples as quietly as a lake while the characters experience familiar surroundings with new eyes. It has the tender, unexpected devastation of poetry.

Originally published during the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival

Watch Matt review the week's big new movies Fridays at noon on NBC.

mpais@tribune.com

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