REVIEW: Chicago Scene Magazine – Chicago Theatrical Release
Diamond Tongues Review
By Brian Thompson
As much as I appreciate the bluesy style that July Talk brings to the Toronto alternative rock scene, I’m now convinced that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they were to go on indefinite hiatus tomorrow. If for nothing else, it would mean that Leah Goldstein could continue her acting career. Diamond Tongues gives her an opportunity to showcase her talents outside of music, and she absolutely knocks it out of the park.
She takes center stage as Edith Welland, an aspiring actress who is trying to push forward with her dream of a stage career while struggling to live with all of the pitfalls so often associated with the competitive industry. To make matters worse, she soon discovers that her recent ex-boyfriend has also taken up acting, only to find immediate success as a performer.
Over the past half-decade or so, there has been an influx of female characters trying to pursue a career in the arts only to find that it leads to hardships and loss. Some of the best examples of this would be Lena Dunham in Girls and Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha. Goldstein creates a character that fits into this mold, but she also brings a unique flair to the role that makes her stand apart from the pack. It is rare to see someone take to the screen so majestically on the first go-around.
Even when Edith is sabotaging her own happiness and screwing over the people closest to her, she is still an undeniably likeable character. She continues to make terrible choices, but she carries enough charisma that you find yourself rooting for her. She lies about her accomplishments and falls into self-delusional tendencies, not unlike Robert De Niro in The King of Comedy. As such, the film never portrays her as a villain or victim.
At what point do you realize that your ambitions are unrealistic and you should start looking for a new career? Diamond Tongues seems to suggest that there is hope even in the darkest times. With this film, Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson have created an interesting character study that skillfully rides the line between whimsy and despair.
Drink Every Time: Edith’s struggle is painfully relatable.