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The Reception (2005)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  23 April 2005 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 171 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 8 user | 10 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

The complex relationship between a wealthy French woman and her best friend a, gay black American, is thrown into turmoil when her estranged daughter comes to visit them with her new ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Maggie Burkwit ...
Sierra
Chris Burmester ...
Chuck
...
Andrew
Wayne Lamont Sims ...
Martin
...
Jeannette (as Pamela Holden Stewart)
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Storyline

The complex relationship between a wealthy French woman and her best friend a, gay black American, is thrown into turmoil when her estranged daughter comes to visit them with her new husband for the weekend in upstate New York. Through a series of drunken evenings and daytime squabbles it becomes apparent that no one involved is what they seem. Written by Producer

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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23 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Recepção  »

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$5,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Secrets and Lies, Forgiveness and Redemption: A Week in Winter
3 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John G. Young ('Parallel Sons') is a fine writer and director whose fertile mind is slowly offering beautiful little quiet films that bravely address many difficult issues. THE RECEPTION is a very low budget film (not evident in the product, but in actuality it is said to have been made for $5000. - meaning it is a labor of love on the part of the cast and crew), an Indie film garnering respect in the festivals and will likely gather a following now that it is available on DVD. Young does not write or direct exploitational African American films: Young writes about less flamboyant issues that make his work less ethnic and more universal.

Jeannette (Pamela Holden Stewart) is an aging divorced French 'writer' who has moved to upstate New York to a beautiful home to drink, lives with an HIV-positive African American painter Martin (Wayne Lamont Sims), a disillusioned gay man who has retreated from the artistic and emotional pains of Paris. The two care for each other, two isolated souls in mutual need of understanding. Into this snowy solace comes Jeannette's daughter Sierra (Margaret Burkwit), whom Jeannette has not seen in years having left her with her father at the time of an early divorce suffering the anger of the estrangement and distance, and Sarah's new husband Andrew (Darien Sills-Evans) a handsome African American law student from a wealthy family. Jeannette demands they stay until the weekend when Jeannette will throw a big reception party for the newly wedded couple. At a dinner party for a 'potential lover' for Jeannette all of the underpinnings of the drama become evident. Nothing is as it seems: every character has secrets and lies that gradually and painfully surface and change the story in surprising ways. Original intentions are thwarted by dishonesty and resolutions of broken lives bring the film to a quiet end.

Young addresses issues such as gay love, living with HIV, alcoholism, dysfunctional mother/daughter relationships, deception, greed, lust, desperation - all in a tight little story that makes its messages clear though not only well written dialogue but also the extended silences in the isolation of a place in the snowy woods. The cast acts with an unforced natural manner, allowing us to slowly discover the real complexities of the characters. The scenery is ideally captured by cinematographer Derek Wiesehahn. It is refreshing to see how touching a film can be made with so little money, eight days shooting time, and a devoted group of fine artists. Grady Harp


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