An urban fairy tale-romantic comedy, in which Nola, an aspiring songwriter, leaves an abusive Kansas home and journeys to New York to find her biological father. Once there, she finds more ... See full summary »
James Badge Dale
A troubled young man and his straight-laced niece embark on a thrilling odyssey through New York City in this heartrending drama based on an Oscar-winning short. As his life hits rock bottom, 20-something Richie decides to end it all, only to have his half-hearted suicide attempt interrupted by an urgent request from his sister to babysit her precocious daughter. So begins a madcap tour of Manhattan after dark, as uncle and niece find unexpected bonds in the unlikeliest of places. Written by
Shawn Christensen's Oscar Winning Curfew was a wonderful piece of filmmaking, and I was worried that the feature version "Before I Disappear" would be just more of the same. I was pleasantly surprised and this expanded version took wonderful to extraordinary.
One of Shawn's many accomplishments in this film was his deft transition of the Sophia character from precocious little girl to self-realized adolescent, who has it together a hell of a lot more than her uncle.
It took me a little time to warm up to Emmy Rossum's character -- as in how could she have a child that old -- but a few lines to clear that up -- and boom, all taken care of. Emmy's vulnerability and willingness to go to a very raw place near the end of the film was beautiful to watch.
Shawn's expanding the characters I loved in the short and adding new characters, played by Paul Wesley and Ron Perlman was terrific. Who knew that Wesley could bring such depth to a character that could have come off as horribly one-note?
The cinematography was brilliant. The choice of color was truly inspired.
This is definitely a virtuoso piece of indie filmmaking, and deserving of every award it has picked up on the film festival circuit. My only regret is that this film should be opening in a hell of a lot more theaters this awards season.
If you love indie filmmaking, you need to see this film as soon as possible,
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