In a small North American town, the middle age Martha and the twenty and something years old Kyle work in a doll factory. Martha nurses her old father and usually gives a lift to Kyle, who works also in the night-shift cleaning a shovel factory. When the young single mother Rose is hired to work with airbrush and stencils in the factory, she is befriended by Kyle and Martha. In a Friday night, Rose hires Martha to work as babysitter of her two year old daughter Jesse and Martha finds that she is dating Kyle. Rose returns back home early after stealing Kyle's savings, and Martha witnesses Jesse's father Jake accusing Rose of stealing weed and money from his house. On the next morning, Rose is found strangled in her house and Detective Don Taylor interviews Jake, Kyle and Martha along his investigation. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Minimalist film-making at its finest. A glimpse into the lives of ordinary people, Appalachian blue-collar factory workers, going about their lives waking up, going to work, doing their jobs, chatting in the break room, having a sandwich, having a cigarette, getting back to work, going home at the end of the day and watching television. The set-up to the defining moment of the film is as realistic a portrayal of regular old boring life as I have ever seen on film, and the set-up is most of the movie. Going into this, I hadn't heard or read anything about the film, and so had no idea what to expect. "But this is from the director of Traffic," I thought. "It'll have to be pretty exciting." Well, exciting is hardly the word. Well-crafted is more like it. I spent the first half hour waiting for something to happen before it finally sunk in that the whole point was to show us what most people's lives, at least outside of the city, are really like. The dialogue could not be more perfect, and the casting director did a remarkable job finding talented but unknown actors. And this is important because, had the acting been awkward, it would have completely undermined the feeling that we are viewing a true story. It doesn't have the feel of a documentary exactly, more like surveillance camera footage shot with high quality movie cameras. It is very convincing. I also found it oddly relaxing. The key event that takes place in the second half of the film is not shown. We see its set-up and aftermath and are left to imagine the details for ourselves. There is an element of mystery, but the revelation, as with everything else in this movie, is subtle.
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