All happy families are alike; each supernatural family is supernatural in its own way.
In co-writer/director Andrew Droz Palermo’s One & Two, a hereditary disposition toward short-distance teleportation has led a family of four to exile themselves somewhere in the nameless woods.
A high, unwelcoming wall separates the quartet from the outer world, so siblings Eva (Kiernan Shipka) and Zac (Timothée Chalamet) pass the time by sneaking out at night to make the most of their uncanny ability.
This is much to the chagrin of their domineering father (Grant Bowler), if not their ailing mother (Elizabeth Reaser). “What is this place? Why are we here and not out there?” Eva intones, as though one of Terrence Malick’s philosophically minded narrators had wandered onto the sequestered homestead of Dogtooth.
Shipka proves just as capable in a more central role as she was stealing scenes as Mad Men‘s Sally Draper; Reaser, whose two-episode arc on the very same show’s final season was among its most elliptical and haunting, brings a similarly tragic quality to her maternal role here.
Far from a superhero origin story, One & Two spends precious little time on Eva and Zac’s gift/curse, with Palermo focusing instead on the ways brothers and sisters stick together as everything else falls apart. He demonstrates an affinity for all things ethereal, even as he occasionally struggles to make space for himself in the long shadow of his estimable influences and reference points.
One & Two
Directed by Andrew Droz Palermo
Opens August 14, IFC Center