Director/Screenwriter: Sebastián Silva
Actors: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Augustin Silva
If Michael Cera was typecast as the poster boy for Type B romantic heroes—awkward but sweet, soft but humble, geeky but loveable—his turn in Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy marks his arrival as an unlikeable Type A anti-hero. In one of the actor’s two Chile-based collaborations with Silva at Sundance (the other is Magic Magic), Jaime (Cera) is an ugly American, obsessed with mind-altering drugs and oblivious to his own self-centeredness. Stoned at a local party, he invites fellow American Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman)—a hippie, hairy, sometimes off-putting and often-naked free spirit—on his quest for a rare mescaline-producing cactus on a camping trip with friends.
As Jaime, Crystal and a trio of Chilean brothers wander the countryside, the cactus—and its associated high—become Jamie’s very own white whale, and hints of Crystal’s past come to light. The sparse plot nonetheless provides opportunities for a little self-reflection and some original, dark humor, making the druggy affair a worthwhile trip to the theater.