During a Midwestern winter, two working-class brothers must cope with their recently incarcerated father.During a Midwestern winter, two working-class brothers must cope with their recently incarcerated father.During a Midwestern winter, two working-class brothers must cope with their recently incarcerated father.
It's got the traditional aspects; the gray/blue washed out color palette, the going-nowhere, stuck in a dead end job lead character, the "I knew a guy just like that in my home town" older brother, that these films always seem to have. The film focuses on endlessly bleak subject matter that it just can't seem to rise above.
The cast of characters are fairly stock, and not particularly interesting, and are the usual denizens of working-class middle America. However, America Ferrera does stand out in a relatively small and somewhat thankless role. Screenwriters write monologues to attract name-talent to their projects, but after awhile the endless sloppy exposition just becomes too painful to listen to (Note: if your characters are launching into "Remember whens.." in every other scene, your in dangerous territory.)
The lead actor does a decent job, but isn't a particularly interesting to watch, and the setting created certainly isn't much more interesting to look at. In the end, you just feel as if the actors have nowhere to go with this script, but they will surely all have a few scenes for their personal reels. There's nothing here that couldn't have been handled just as well in a documentary. There isn't much of a story here, but the events are more or less predictable, with the exception of an especially improbable "plot" twist two-thirds through the film. No one really seems to want anything, except maybe to get through another day. And as the viewer, you find yourself just trying to get to the end of the film.
- Feb 14, 2010