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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

By the Numbers

Paint on IMDb

Plot Overview

pencilMethodology is importantsaplingsred maple leavesBurlington, Vermont PBS TV personality Carl Nargle (Owen Wilson) has been doing a live, picture painting show for decades to a captivated audience with nothing better to do. In his early days, he and co-worker Katherine (Michaela Watkins) had started seeing each other, but when she became jealous of his fans' adulation, she “made a mistake” with a Vermont Mountain Express delivery guy (Ryan Gaul) to get even. They broke up over it but haven't found closure. Katherine sabotages Carl's career.

College News

woman teachermiddle age man3 at desksStation manager Tony (Stephen Root) edges Nargle out to a teaching position at University of Vermont and brings in fresh blood Ambrosia Long (Ciara Renée) to replace him. Katherine accepts a position as assistant general manager of the PBS TV affiliate in Albany, New York, but first she has to complete some college credit.

A long put off meeting with Dr. Bradford Lenihan (Michael Pemberton,) curator of the Burlington Museum of Art, to see about displaying some of Nargle's paintings leaves the artist with a bitter taste in his mouth along the lines of some bad news in an Andrew Lytle novel:

Perish … the word stuck like wax. It had the ring of a threat. The vague unease the climb had brought Lucius to, the bitter melting of his strength by the sun had now changed, as the night rushed down upon them coming to camp, to a deep melancholy. The wonderful dream of him awakening in the loft room, when any­thing seemed possible, any wish a gay accom­plish­ment, that indeed had perished. But why? Because he had met a man on a calico pony who smelled like rancid milk. (43)


Joseph's coat of many colors displayed

In the middle of this rather drab movie, pops up a scene of riotous colors accompanied by Dolly Parton singing, “Coat of Many Colors.” The song is a take­off on the well-known Bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, his jealous brothers selling him off for a slave while telling their father Jacob a story of some wild beasts devouring him. Thomas Mann writes of: “Joseph's heart—that heart which Jacob, far away, believed long stilled in death, whereas here it was in Egypt, ticking on and exposed to all the perils of life” (446.) (Gen. 39:2) “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

In “Paint” we see played out within a TV crew some long-lived jealousies leading to change(s) in situation. (Eccl. 4:1) “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.” Katherine was inconsolable after being too readily dumped by her lover whom she still loved, while Carl with all his status was sad, too.

(Eccl. 4:2) “Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.” Nargle was a pipe smoker, it gave him some kind of comfort to smoke while he painted. He had to give it up or at least set it aside while teaching in the class­room. Good for him.

(Eccl. 4:3) “Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.” Better to not take up smoking in the first place. The IT department was able to digitally re-master his old shows for reruns and take out the pipe smoking altogether. Good example, that.

(Eccl. 4:4) “Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.” It was a fly in the ointment for the two personalities to be jealous of each other, each being a good artist in his or her own right.

(Eccl. 4:5) “The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.” Nargle's reruns will earn him money with­out him doing a thing. But you know the saying about not letting the grass grow.

(Eccl. 4:6) “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.” Nargle did better to settle on a precisely trimmed hair­cut rather than keep the (blond) afro that could get in his way at the most inopportune times.

(Eccl. 4:7-8) “Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.” Ambrosia kept some irons in the fire of her—albeit not straight—love life, and her mom and friends kept showing up being already acquainted with her new interests. She had a ready mutual support group. Not so Carl. We never see any of his family or close ties. He just works for him­self, endlessly. It's pathetic.

Production Values

” (2023) was written and directed by Brit McAdams. It stars Owen Wilson, Stephen Root and Michaela Watkins. Wilson's velvety voice set the ambiance of the whole movie. Emotions are subtle here and wouldn't be expressive enough for a stage play; they rely on audience attention for a movie.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for sexual/suggestive material, drug use and smoking. It was filmed in Albany, New York, USA. It proceeds at a sedate pace. Runtime is 1 hour 36 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Here is a quiet drama that might appeal to those who take life in the slow lane. Others might find it annoying. Set your expectations accordingly.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Lytle, Andrew. The Velvet Horn. Copyright © 1957 by Andrew Lytle. New York: McDowell/Obolensky. Print.

Mann, Thomas. Joseph in Egypt. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1938. Print.