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The Fits 2016

NR CC
Available on Prime

While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent seizures.

Starring:
Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da'Sean Minor
Runtime:
1 hour, 12 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Anna Rose Holmer
Starring Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da'Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson
Supporting actors Makyla Burnam, Inayah Rodgers, Q-Kidz Dance Team
Studio Oscilloscope
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2016
Format: Amazon Video
"The Fits" (2015 release; 72 min.) brings the story of Toni, an 11 yr. old girl. As the movie opens, we see Toni doing push-ups and working out in the boxing gym alongside her older brother. But afterwards she watches a nearby dancer troupe doing their workouts, and it's clear Toni wants to join them. Toni's brother encourages her and it's not long before Toni enters a whole new (dancing) world. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the debut full-length feature from writer-director Anna Rose Holmer. Here she picks a familiar topic (coming of age, fitting in and social acceptance), but Holmer brings it in a unique way, focusing on an 11 yr. old girl whom we watch as she tries to find her way. There is no dialogue to speak of during the first 20-25 minutes of the movie. Instead, we decipher all we need to know from Toni's face and body expressions. Newcomer Royalty Hightower as Toni as an absolute sensation. Did I mention that the entire cast of this film is African-American? (Interestingly, Holmer herself is not.) The movie is set entirely in Cincinnati's gritty West End neighborhood (much of the film being set at the West End's Lincoln Community Center, not far from Union Terminal). As a complete aside, I also noticed in the opening credits that the movie is "Presented by the Biennale di Venezia", yes, the famous arts fest. Bottom line: "The Fits" is an abstract, yet very real comment on a young girl's coming of age, dealing with social acceptance and related challenges.

The movie opened recently at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was PACKED, to my great (but pleasant) surprise.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A must see. This is not trying to be a big flashy Hollywood blockbuster. This is about art. This is about childhood. Fear of change. Individuality and being part of a group. It is beautiful and tender and just strange enough to put you in a different mindset. An excellent watch for those with kids who are not sure about the big teenage world around them. They can be strong, and beautiful, and unique, and part of something. And scary things can be okay. The cinematography, music, directing, are beautifully done. The kids are amazing as first time actors, honest and earnest.
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Yup: if you loved The Tree of Life, see this ASAP; if not, skip it. This is pure arthouse: superb direction, cinematography, and editing, very fine score, sometimes slow pace (enlivened by some dance action), and a very slight story. The two lead performances are very good, the others perfunctory (they're all non-professionals).

For arthouse fans, the 5th star is going to depend on how much metaphorical meaning you draw from the title phenomenon. For me, the film left too many dots for the viewer to connect (which is to say, all of them). The "fits" would have seemed more meaningful to me had the elements of the story that they seem to symbolize (coming of age, the need to conform to one's peers while remaining an individual, etc.) been fleshed out more in the literal story. As it is, they stand in for these themes rather than connecting to them (since they're not much there to connect to). I can understand why some arthouse fans would rather have it the other way around, though.

In the meantime, this is a stunning directorial debut, in terms of behind-the-camera talent. There are images as breathtaking as anything you're likely to see this year.
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This movie was so surprising! I kept hearing about the young actress and how good she was, but the whole movie was wonderful. Very dreamy and impressionistic coming of age and commentary on growing up female. Reminded me somewhat of Daughters of the Dust. Let's hope this film maker is able to make more movies.
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Despite making the top pick on the radio show, Filmspotting, this quirky indie film is more than a bit offspeed. The title is a reference to seizures that some of the dance-cheerleading team seem to come down with...is it the water, nerves, something else? Well, what?? (Spoiler coming) Turns out, you never find out. The basic plot -- the heroine of the story goes on to discover her real goal of becoming a tom-girl and not a tom-boy. Well acted but is it worth the 1.5 hours+. Some on the radio show certainly felt that way but I just didn't see it...you'll know yourself within about 15 minutes if this independent film grabs and holds you, or gives you the fits! Well acted and actually well made but a very individual film overall and not for everyone.
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The Fits poses a great question and a premise for an engaging film. Why are the young girls at a city recreation center undergoing seizures, or "the fits" as they call them. No answer is supplied. The movie is long on atmosphere and authenticity, but devoid of anything that resembles dramatic tension or a plot.
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Format: DVD
This was one of the best movies I've seen this year. If you prioritize cinematography over exposition, or wonder what a teen dance movie would be like if Ingmar Bergman directed it, this film rules. The performances are wonderfully physical but also smart and subtle. Definitely watch this if you're in a contemplative mood and want something to think about for months.
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