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Anthony M. Bertram
Joby Taylor, having risked home and family in pursuit of the roll-and-roll dream, finds himself being asked to surrender all rights of paternity to his six-year-old daughter Ellen in a divorce settlement. With much at stake at this late stage, is it too late for him to start being a father? That's the question as he approaches a deadline decision to either surrender or fight. Written by
I thought that w-we're splitting everything. I get half the house. I get half the kid. Uh...
No, um... I mean, I thought... I thought you knew that that was a condition for the... for the fifty/fifty settlement on the house. You know, in return, you must give up legal custody of Ellen as...
...as her biological father.
No. No, that's not what I thought it said in the document at all. The-the-the settlement is about getting my share of that house she's living in, which I legally own half of.
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"Silent, minimalistic and incisive cinematic letter..."
Korean screenwriter, film editor, producer and director So Yong Kim's third feature film which she wrote and co-produced, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic section at the 28th Sundance Film Festival in 2012, was screened in the Forum section at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in USA and Canada and is a USA production which was produced by producers Jen Gatien and Bradley Rust Gray. It tells the story about a man named Joby Taylor who is a musician in a band called Snake Trouble and who after having travelled around for some time stops at a place where his attorney named Fred Butler is awaiting him and his wife named Claire lives. Claire has filed for divorce and is asking Joby to sign the divorce papers so that they won't have to take the case to court, but when Joby meets her again and realizes that his signature will grant her legal custody of their daughter named Ellen he begins thinking about his child which he doesn't know at all.
Subtly and acutely directed by Asian filmmaker So Yong Kim, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the main character's point of view, draws a gently moving portrayal of a father who has been running away from his responsibilities as a parent and who slowly though perhaps too late acknowledges what his way of life has done to him. While notable for its naturalistic milieu depictions, fine cinematography by American cinematographer Reed Morano Walker and production design by production designer Ryan Smith, this character-driven story about a daughter's meeting with her biological father depicts a reflective study of character and contains a great score by Icelandic composer and producer Jóhann Jóhannsson.
This heartfelt, authentic and conversational indie which is set somewhere in America during a winter and where a man whom is about to make a crucial decision regarding his own life which will also affect the lives of others is struck down to earth by a person who alters his life forever, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle character development and continuity, pivotal instrumental tones, humane aura and the genuinely good acting performances by American actors Paul Dano, Jon Heder and child actress Shaylene Lynn Madigo in her debut feature film role. A silent, minimalistic and incisive cinematic letter from a filmmaker who through an efficiently understated style of filmmaking reaches the essence of her characters.
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