It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Survivors of Crispin Glover’s appalling debut as a writer-director, What Is It?—with its predominantly Down-syndrome–afflicted cast and inexplicable malice toward snails—will be familiar with Steven C. Stewart; he was the man with cerebral palsy lying in the clamshell, enjoying a hand job from the woman in the monkey mask. Stewart (who died in 2001) wrote and stars in this long-nurtured, unrelated sequel, which is as surprising for its visual boldness—it looks like Lovelace-era porn as staged by David Lynch—as it is for its sincerity. It suggests, at the very least, that Stewart’s fantasies are preferable to Glover’s.

Stewart’s fever-dream alter ego is Paul, who—in the great Fassbinder tradition—just wants to be loved. Fittingly, the first woman to oblige is Petra von Kant herself, Margit Carstensen, here a divorced parent who solicits Paul’s companionship but won’t marry a cripple. Paul’s brutal backlash is echoed in affairs with her jailbait daughter (Szlasa) and other women, all drawn to his innocence. With a set design at once primitive and garish—The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is an obvious touchstone—It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine. feels genuinely sui generis; Glover has said it’s the best film of his career. Whatever, McFly. But he’s not far off.



Release details

Cast and crew

David Brothers, Crispin Glover
Steven C. Stewart
Steven C. Stewart
Margit Carstensen
Carrie Szlasa
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