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508 Ratings

L for Leisure

Directed by Lev Kalman, Whitney Horn
United States, Mexico, 2014


Set in the early 1990s, the film features a group of hedonistic students who jet from one upscale vacation spot to the next, tossing off deadpan one-liners about the end of history and race as a social construct along the way. Their favourite activity: talking endlessly.

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L for Leisure Directed by Lev Kalman, Whitney Horn
If it starts out rather like a by-the-numbers observational film, content to just show things its directors find worth showing, it winds up a very good observational film, skilled at finding ways to convince its audience that those things are worth seeing. What starts out a satire of people with meaningless problems ends up an ode to people with meaningless problems. We expect something too self-conscious and instead find ourselves deeply moved. And we can laugh about it afterwards, too.
December 22, 2015
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There’s never been a movie quite like L for Leisure, which follows a loose vignette structure while vaguely resembling “Miami Vice” episodes as shot by a prepubescent Whit Stillman.
December 11, 2015
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The film is chock-full of visual landmarks and cultural references specific to the early-90s: Snapple, Rollerblades, Wayne’s World’s “Sha-wing.” There’s an endless supply of high-waisted Levi’s and, best of all, a spontaneous A Capella rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.” …For all its atmospheric laziness, this is not a film about (or for) slackers, but rather thinkers; embedded directly into the easy-breezy aesthetic is quite a rigorous exploration of time and space.
May 15, 2015
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