‘South Mountain’ Review: Talia Balsam Is Astounding in Elegant Hippy Midlife Crisis Story — SXSW

After the melodramatic setup of its first act, “South Mountain” almost takes a violent turn. Faced with the devastating decision by her husband Edgar (Scott Cohen) to leave her after decades of marriage, Lila (Talia Balsam) acts on an angry impulse and nearly causes irreparable harm. But director Hilary Brougher’s wise, understated screenplay undercuts the tension with a practical response, as if to prove that the movie needs no special gimmick to infuse its complex scenario with purpose. The characters are deep enough to do the heavy lifting.

Brougher’s first feature since 2006’s “Stephanie Daley” is a tender, intimate, and blatantly personal work that wears its lo-fi narrative with pride. Grounded in mature dialogue and the quiet moments in between, the movie centers on a tumultuous summer in which middle-aged Catskills resident and community college teacher Lila finds her utopian hippy lifestyle thrown into upheaval when her husband
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