STRAWBERRY MANSION (2021) Reviews and overview of surreal sci-fi fantasy

 

Strawberry Mansion is a 2021 American science fiction fantasy film about a dream auditor who becomes fascinated by an ageing eccentric.

Written, directed by and starring Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney (Sylvio), the movie also stars Ephraim Birney, Reed Birney, Kenny Brossoie and Penny Fuller.

Plot:

In a dystopian future where dreams can be taxed and invaded by advertisers, government agent James Preble travels to the eccentric home of ageing artist Arabella Isadora to audit her dreams and finds himself falling in love as he explores her subconscious, stored on a vast library of VHS tapes…

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Reviews:

“I loved this movie’s imaginative premise and its outsized ambitions, and I think it was trying to say something sincere about human connection and our collective existential dread, but despite a few pleasing, fleeting images, Strawberry Mansion just felt inaccessible to me. I want storytellers to dream big, but to reach an audience, you must also dream smart.” @ssholes Watching Movies

The dreams take on a hazy and hypnotically arresting quality—they are erratic and random, just like they would be in real life. I’m not sure that Strawberry Mansion is successful in justifying its totality of randomness, but it was a fun and entertaining attempt.” Josh at the Movies

“Despite some noticeable flaws in its screenplay, Strawberry Mansion’s heart clearly shines through and its artistic vision is as admirable as it is endearing. If not a logically satisfying film, it’s an emotionally rewarding film, full of hope and passion, and its infectious sense of imagination sticks around long after it’s over.” Loud and Clear

“The winsome visuals alone are enough for me to recommend Strawberry Mansion. Yet within this enchanting aesthetic, Audley and Birney craft a compelling story that’s mind-bending and heartwarming […] Simply put, Strawberry Mansion is sensational, strange, and sophisticatedly sweet.” RogerEbert.com

“Unfortunately, while the movie delights on a sensory level, thematically and narratively it gets too complicated in its whimsy, leaving us in the lurk too much to be easily recommended for anyone outside of those who appreciate such work viscerally, and do not require narrative cohesion to be entertained.” Sonic Cinema

Release date:

Music Box Films will release Strawberry Mansion in the USA theatrically in select locations and On-Demand later in 2021.

Cast and characters:

Kentucker Audley … James Preble
Penny Fuller … Arabella Isadora
Albert Birney … Frog Waiter / Blue Demon
Ephraim Birney … Brian
Reed Birney … Peter Bloom
Kenny Brossoie … Paramedic
Grace Glowicki … Young Bella
Linas Phillips … Buddy
Constance Shulman … Martha

Filming locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Technical details:

91 minutes

Trailer: