Film Review: APPLESAUCE (written and directed by Onur Tukel / World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on April 21, 2015

in Film


Written, directed and starring the delightful and multitalented Onur Tukel, the dark comedy Applesauce centers on the conflicts that arise between two hip married Brooklyn couples in their 30s after the spouses make the mistake of revealing to each other “the worst thing they’ve ever done.” Oh, and somebody is sending one of them human body parts. But that’s almost another story.

Consisting of two distinct elements, Applesauce has a soft mumblecore filling, encased in a hard thriller shell. And while the filling—with its sharp dialogue and well-rendered, lovable characters—is organic, juicy and satisfying, the shell—constructed largely of the severed body parts storyline, which Mr. Tukel uses to increase tension and make his philosophical points (similarly to the way he uses vampirism in Summer of Blood)—feels artificial, and though effective for a while it ultimately crumbles.

But though Applesauce, which attempts to explore the ironic spiritual isolation of well-meaning progressives, doesn’t achieve artistic perfection, its failings feel more like formalities overshadowed by its successes. With wonderful humor and naturalistic performances by the exceptional cast—which includes Max Casella, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Jennifer Prediger, as well as the always excellent Dylan Baker—Mr. Tukel creates an inviting world populated by individuals whom we can watch and listen to for hours—whether they’re receiving body parts in their mail or not.

photos © Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

MPI Media Group
USA – 2015 – Color – 91 min.
World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
for screening times, visit

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