It's my last day at Sundance, folks, where the No Impact Man documentary has been screening so don't have time to write much but thought you might be able to tolerate one more review, this one from Variety:
Michelle Conlin is not the movie's principal character - that would be her husband, Colin Beavan, whose goal is to spend one year leaving as small a carbon footprint as inhumanely possible. And he's taking the family with him as he jumps over the crunchy, caffeine-less cliff.
Conlin doesn't really want to go. Providing the humor and the skepticism, she becomes the audience's stand-in as Beavan (who's planning a book on the project) imposes a suddenly Spartan way of life on his daughter and wife -- who really likes her Starbucks lattes and taxi cabs. "Daddy does nature," she tells little Isabella, as their Greenwich Village apartment becomes home to compost eating worms and improvised refrigeration. "Mommy does retail." When the couple carts all their unnecessary stuff to a thrift store, Conlin wants to buy the Marc Jacob handbag in the window.
But it's Conlin who becomes the convert to the cause: While Beavan's book brings his passion into question, Conlin really comes to believe in what they're doing, despite such deprivations as no electricity, no out-of-season produce and, worst of all, no caffeine. As such, "No Impact Man," becomes the best kind of propaganda, as well as a very entertaining movie.
Production values are fine, with Schein's often on-the-fly camerawork a standout.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.