The latest film by Andrew Bujalski, Beeswax had its U.S. premiere at SXSW on Monday. You might remember Bujalski's earlier features: Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation. The term "mumblecore", which describes a certain kind of low-budget indie made by a certain group of people, became popular after an interview Bujalski gave about Mutual Apprecation. But I'd like to talk about Beeswax without mentioning the term and all its associated baggage. Beeswax is a good movie that does some surprising things in a quiet way.
The story in Beeswax takes a backseat to the characters and the way they communicate. Two sisters, Jeannie (Tilly Hatcher) and Lauren (Maggie Hatcher), are sharing a house in Austin. Jeannie is co-owner of a vintage clothing store, and the other owner and former friend, Amanda, is threatening to sue her or possibly buy her out. Jeannie seeks legal advice from an old friend, Merrill (Alex Karpovsky), who's preparing for his bar exam, but a barely mentioned, possibly romantic past colors their interactions. Lauren is trying to help her sister out, but is also trying to get a teaching job, which is complicated by the fact that she's interviewing with Lee (Nathan Zellner), and Lauren just broke up with Lee's brother Scott (David Zellner).