“In ‘Diamond Tongues’ Leah Goldstein Plays a Flawed Actress”

By Ben Kenigsberg, February 18th, 2016

“Diamond Tongues,” an alternately sweet and slashing microbudget comedy from Canada, makes a great vehicle for Leah Goldstein, a musician and performance artist appearing in her first movie. As Edith, an aspiring actress who seems blind to her deficits and personal flaws, Ms. Goldstein gives a performance that requires her to swing between disarming and loathsome. She demonstrates impressive skill in slowly peeling away her character’s charm.

Edith scrounges for casting calls in Toronto, auditioning for such misbegotten projects as “Blood Sausage,” about a serial killer who turns his victims into encased meat. She seethes at friends whose successes only marginally exceed her own — giving a poor online rating to a film in which an acquaintance appears and barely concealing her jealousy of a roommate (Leah Wildman) who is preparing for a play. And although still recuperating from a breakup that she initiated, Edith is also horrified to discover her ex-boyfriend is pursuing acting ambitions of his own.

“Diamond Tongues” vacillates between light, faintly romantic humor — her pal Nick (Nick Flanagan) is one of the many people who try to manage her expectations for stardom — and darker territory, as when Edith is taken in by an acting teacher.

The prickly tone is a difficult balancing act, and “Diamond Tongues” may settle for being a softer-hearted film than its most cynical scenes portend. But it has a palpable affection for Toronto’s cultural scene and for Ms. Goldstein, who would most likely have no trouble standing out at an audition in real life.

Source: New York Times