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Redwoods (2009)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  24 June 2009 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,062 users  
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An unfulfilled gay man in a stagnant relationship finds his life changed forever when he meets a struggling writer visiting the Redwoods Country.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Chase
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Miles
Caleb Dorfman ...
Billy
...
Everett Forster
Simon Burzynski ...
Shane
Clara Brighton ...
Anna
Elinor Bell ...
Tess Forster
Cole Panther ...
Woodson Forster
Libby Zilber ...
DeeDee
Bill Gollihur ...
Tourist
...
Jessica
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Storyline

An unfulfilled gay man in a stagnant relationship finds his life changed forever when he meets a struggling writer visiting the Redwoods Country.

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Plot Keywords:

writer | gay | candle | fisher | excursion | See All (51) »

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Some loves stand the test of time

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

24 June 2009 (USA)  »

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$115,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Burning "Bridges"
15 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The problem with most gay indie films is that they tend to be low-budget amateur productions. Amateur writing, amateur directing, amateur actors....they often come across as extended student films, but it is sadly the only way that most of these films would ever get made because the big Hollywood studios are still hesitant about "doing gay". Once in a blue moon we'll get a big studio release like Brokeback Mountain, but such films are few and far between.

Redwoods is very much a typical gay indie film in that it comes across as an amateur production made for a margin audience that still doesn't have much product in their niche marketplace to choose from. Perhaps "semi-professional" is a more polite term than "amateur", and given its obvious limitations it is by no means a terrible film, but it isn't a good film either. The script could have stood another rewrite or three (particularly to cut down on the number of times where the characters say each others names in their conversations, which sounds painfully false). The director could have rehearsed his actors more thoroughly (though better casting would have been preferable), and also gotten a bit more coverage from his cinematographer for a wider variety of shots to cut to, not to mention looking over his editor's shoulder and insisting on a few more cuts here and there to avoid the often dreary static effect that ruins many scenes. And I am certainly not a prude, but the full frontal nudity in the film was both out of place and completely unnecessary. Whether this was an attempt to titillate or to try to make the film more of an "arthouse" piece remains a mystery, but it was a desperate move regardless - and it shows. Of course, the writer and the director of this production are one and the same person, and so he must take the biggest share of the blame for the film's failings. As all artists should, hopefully he will learn from his mistakes and go on to make something better.

However, the biggest problem with the film is that, from beginning to end, it is a shameless rip-off of The Bridges of Madison County. Unfortunately, Brendan Bradley is no Meryl Streep, and making the story between two men rather than a man and a woman does not give this film enough of a distinction by itself. Had the film just loosely borrowed from "Bridges" rather than directly copying it, I might have been more forgiving, but a rip-off is a rip-off. In the film's favour, it at least gave the audience some decent photography of the redwood forests of northern California, though sadly this doesn't save the film from mediocrity. Perhaps it is unfair to be so critical of small independent films such as these due to their low budgets and often inexperienced personnel, although 2007's Shelter managed to rise above its humble indie beginnings and became a minor classic due to the sheer talent of its cast and crew. With better care, forethought and finesse from all involved, Redwoods could well have reached similar heights, but unfortunately it just doesn't make the grade.


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Brilliant Film, Terrible Ending wirrrn
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