|Index||4 reviews in total|
This is the sort of movie that knocks your socks off in it is subtlety. Excellent but powerful story about transition and transformation - and applicable to anyone's life journey. And great performances by lead actors, Jessalyn Gilsig and Graham Patrick Martin. An unlikely meeting of two people struggling with life's hurdles. Their encounter is surprisingly true to the name of the film. It took me to those slow, yet special times that are just that -- fleeting moments in life that we will long cherish. Beautifully filmed on location in a quaint New England setting, the film contains scenes with amazing texture and captures the characters in a captivating, almost dreamlike sequence of events that is powerful and enlightening for them and the viewer. With direction and screenplay by Jeremy O'Keefe, this is highly polished and professional for a newcomer's first full-length feature. A sleeper hit in the making and worthwhile independent film flying well under the radar. Romance meets coming of age - I highly recommend this movie if you are looking for either.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wasn't sure what to expect from this little unknown film, but after a
slow start in which I nearly turned it off, it turned into quite a
The story revolves around Anna, who, on a day when she loses her job as a cosmetics saleswoman and witnesses an armed robbery gone wrong, decides to walk away from her life.
Hen pecked by her sister and sick mother, it is obvious that Anna does not like her life, bored with her marriage, hating her job, and leading a false life full of false smiles and fake compliments as part of the her job.
On her journey she meets Travis and they run away to adventure. Anna finds herself and benefits from the short alliance with Travis. In the end though Anna has to wake up and find that she has not left her problems behind and must eventually return to face them.
If I lived the life of Anna Thompson, every fiber of my existence would
want to escape too! The warped predictability of the relationship with
her husband, her family in crisis, job issues, and her own self issue -
when an unexpected opportunity to escape was presented to her, with no
real consideration of the consequences, she jumped at the chance.
Actually she just jumped. Or snapped.
Either way, this movie is competently shot, excellently acted to present a jittery yet authentic portrayal of a woman in crisis, who ends up spending time with a wayward youth.
I cannot understate the extent that Jessalyn Gilsig got inside the character of Anna Thompson. She made compelling, believable viewing.
The film surprisingly dealt with a range of issues which stem from Anna's complex and neurotic self image, in an unassuming way that is further complicated by the context - kind of a bucket list of sometimes almost improper behavior, yet achieving the improper in almost justifiable though somehow milder ways.
In Wilmington, Delaware, Anna sells beauty products to doctors for
Beutanical Gardens. She is so nice and compliments everyone, but she is
also insecure about her appearance because she thought she was ugly as
a child. She shouldn't be because she is quite pretty, even in one
scene where someone else points out that she isn't wearing makeup.
In a fast food place, Anna seems to be ordering for several people. No, it's all for her. And then it's straight to the bathroom to throw up. She also smokes a lot and is obsessive-compulsive at times.
Anna and Robert celebrate their first anniversary in a nice restaurant. She doesn't want ice cream afterward, but she ends up eating it anyway.
After being told she is being let go because she's not good enough at her job, Anna takes her product samples with her despite being told not to. Then she visits her mother, who waits on her and does things for her even though she is dying of cancer. Anna's sister, who seems to be taking care of their mother, is upset at Anna's irresponsible behavior, including going outside and smoking.
When Anna is out driving, she is nearly out of gas and her cell phone needs to be charged. She goes to a store and you would think she is getting gas or at least a cell phone charger. No, her priority is cigarettes. This may have been a good thing.
Something happens in that store that leads Anna to jump on a nearby bus which happens to be heading for Maine. Her father's family had a cottage near a nuclear power plant in Massachusetts. Yes, Massachusetts isn't that close and the one nuclear plant in the state isn't anywhere close to the border and doesn't even look like this one. Maybe I missed some detail, but it's likely the movie's writers weren't trying for accuracy.
When the bus stops, Anna meets Danny. Or is it Jason? Actually, it's Travis. Danny/Jason/Travis is a Mormon who has rejected his faith because he's tired of being told what to do. He has friends near where the bus lets them off in Boston. Danny steals a car (though Anna probably had the money to rent one) and they head for Paul's house.
Paul and his friends are losers who use drugs. Paul also makes porn. So the couple doesn't stay there long. Eventually they end up in the pleasant seaside community where Kennedys might live, but the cottage isn't that nice. Anna is reluctant to stay in her family's cottage since someone else owns it, but Danny breaks in and they treat it like the family still owns it. Until a neighbor starts snooping around.
Up to this point, the movie has been an adventure, occasionally funny. Now the action slows down, and the couple talk about all sorts of things going on in their lives, and the movie is more of a romance. Nothing really has to happen because these two are so appealing. At one point there is conflict, and we hope for the couple to resolve the conflict. And when Anna finally recharges her phone, she has numerous messages. We get to listen to all of them, and it's quite effective.
About that conflict: Several weeks ago I saw Julia Roberts in "Eat, Pray, Love". Anna has something in common with Roberts' character. Both ran away from what some would call a perfect life. Actually, Roberts' character came closer to having a perfect life, but both she and Anna are told their lives were too perfect for them to just go on the run. In Anna's case there may have been more justification, but her life wasn't really that bad.
Jessalyn Gilsig is so likable despite her character's flaws, and Graham Patrick Martin, whoever he is, does a good job too. They make a nice couple. And when there is conflict, it gives them a chance to show how really talented they are.
David Costabile, as the husband, does his best work in the phone messages.
The scenery is pretty and, true to the title, the cottage is "somewhere slow" compared to the hectic life both characters have had.
There are some curious editing choices. At one point the audio is the couple in bed, while the video is them changing clothes. A similar situation exists later on where the action jumps back and forth between inside and outside.
What I believe to be the f-word gets used a few times, but the version of the movie I saw doesn't seem too bad. It's not quite family-friendly but not too bad.
It's a mostly pleasant effort if you can ignore all the laws being broken.
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