Film Review: Nothing Plastic About Lena Dunham’s Post-Graduate ‘Tiny Furniture’

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CHICAGO – The 24 year-old Lena Dunham is a new and notable voice for her generation of filmmakers, breaking in with her first feature, the memorable “Tiny Furniture.” Dunham wrote, directed and portrays the main character Aura, a newly minted film theory graduate who is going through the time honored process of what to do with her post collegiate life. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tiny Furniture refers to the props that Aura’s mother (Laurie Simmons) utilizes as a working artist in her Soho (New York City) loft. She uses the tiny set pieces as contrast to the larger world, posing her other daughter Nadine (Grace Dunham) in high heels against the set-up. This is the scene that Aura comes home to, not so much welcomed back as tolerated into the household again.

She’s a bit confused on what is to become of her next, so she drifts to a party where she reconnects to a airy childhood friend Charlotte (Jemima Kirke) and meets a supposed video artist named Jed (Alex Karpovsky), who claims to be in NYC pitching program ideas to various cable networks. Both these relationships prove challenging to Aura, who also promised a college friend that they would get an apartment together.

Aura proudly gets a part-time job as a restaurant hostess, where she also meets one of the sous chefs, Keith (David Call). She has an attraction to him, but he rebuffs her with stories of his live-in girlfriend. Aura also offers to take in Jed when he needs a place to crash (while her mother and sister are visiting colleges) and further complicates her situation when she refuses to get back to her potential city roommate.

Aura juggles all these new balls of life and doesn’t seem to want to commit to any of them. In other words, she’s a normal 22 year-old trying to answer the question “what am I doing the rest of my life?”

”Tiny Furniture” continues its limited release in Chicago on December 10th at the Music Box Theater. Featuring Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, David Call, Alex Karpovsky and Grace Dunham. Written and directed by Lena Dunham. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Tiny Furniture”

Through the Looking Glass: Lena Dunham as Aura in ‘Tiny Furniture’
Through the Looking Glass: Lena Dunham as Aura in ‘Tiny Furniture’
Photo credit: IFC Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Tiny Furniture”

hope's picture

Impressive review—you’ve

Impressive review—you’ve got both the real and fictional names of Lena Dunham’s mother and sister backwards. Siri is the character played by Dunham’s real life mother Laurie Simmons and Nadine is played by Dunham’s sister Grace. Kind of embarrassing. Might want to correct that.

PatrickMcD's picture


It’s fixed.

Patrick M.

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