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I just attended the World Premiere of "The Tollbooth" at the Hampton International Film Festival. Well-cast, well-acted, and very well-written this film has "heart"; at times I found myself either laughing or crying. The characters were very likable, and although sometimes exaggerated for comedic effect, the overall effect created a slice of realty to which I felt that I could easily relate. The story development did not move along predictable paths. At its end I found myself wanting more.
Considering production values, I wanted to acknowledge its soundtrack which is something I don't usually notice. It included lively original music, of a varied jazz variety, and also very clever use of sound effects especially the New York City street sounds that were used to underscore the 'starter' urban apartment that the main character inhabits. I liked the pacing of the editing. My only point detractions to the film were due to my being conscious of most automobile interior shots being shot from the back seat, but this is hardly a serious issue for an Indie.
This is my first IMDb review and their guidelines suggested including a comparable reference film. It brought to mind "Pieces of April" (2003) which also dealt with the theme of parent/child family relations and the struggle of young adults beginning independent life in New York. The Tollbooth adds the special cultural dynamics of an American-Jewish family.
Following our screening the writer/director Debra Kirschner did Q&A and I was surprised to learn that this was only her first full length film. I look forward to more from her.
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