Ever since "Crash" and "Babel," we've come to expect that multiple story lines will weave together and neatly coalesce within a two-hour running time. Life isn't really like that. "3 Backyards" explores stories that never intersect. Characters within each story reach out or withdraw under the indifferent gaze of the sun. Just as the three narratives remain apart, so do some of the characters within each one.
The most refreshing aspect of "3 Backyards" is the utter lack of backstory. There is no spoon-feeding here. People are unnamed. We know nothing about the characters except what we ourselves infer; we can only guess at the reasons for someone's grief or isolation. The camera looks directly into the face of Edie Falco's wonderfully transparent character; other people are seen in side profiles, in shadow, from a distance, behind glass.
The compelling score is a prominent feature of the film and would not be out of place in a recital hall.
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