Parsley, sage and Rosemary’s baby
Chauntal Lewis in The Commune
Shot inexpensively, the film’s less polished moments often revolve around Adrian Lee’s odd turn as a Mother Earth figure. Whether espousing fortune cookie philosophy or extolling dad’s divine guidance, the actor’s awkward line readings could be interpreted as either the work of a hopeless amateur, or an inventive approach to unhinge an already unstable environment. To these eyes, she comes off like Poltergeist’s Zelda Rubenstein (“Cross over children! All are welcome!”) auditioning for Chelsea Girls.
Looking uncomfortably similar to Firesign Theatre’s Peter Bergman, Bennett’s daffy dad tends to get a bit bug-eyed on his frequent trips over the top. But as her character suffers in pampered pain, Lewis is excellent — to say nothing of the uncanny resemblance to Lindsay Lohan. And Fies’s eye and ear for the patchouli-n-paisley netherworld of late-60s hedonism rings fairly true, while her incestuous spin on David Koresh — would you send your kids to live with him? — could use a little fleshing out.