In a small North American town, the middle age Martha and the twenty and something years old Kyle work in a doll factory. Martha nurses her old father and usually gives a lift to Kyle, who works also in the night-shift cleaning a shovel factory. When the young single mother Rose is hired to work with airbrush and stencils in the factory, she is befriended by Kyle and Martha. In a Friday night, Rose hires Martha to work as babysitter of her two year old daughter Jesse and Martha finds that she is dating Kyle. Rose returns back home early after stealing Kyle's savings, and Martha witnesses Jesse's father Jake accusing Rose of stealing weed and money from his house. On the next morning, Rose is found strangled in her house and Detective Don Taylor interviews Jake, Kyle and Martha along his investigation. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Set in an economically depressed town somewhere in West Virginia (I think), this film revolves around what could be classified as a dysfunctional love triangle between three flawed and disarmingly real factory workers. Conversation is limited; there is lots of fast food and aluminum siding. It's Deepest America. The access we have into the almost-poverty of their lives is so quiet yet so intense, sometimes you have to look away. The plot -- such as it is -- seems, to me, to be secondary to the characters, who are not at all easy to get to know, despite their lack of pretension; this is probably the filmmaker's point. They are opaque, and it is only through effort on our part that we see anything through the work-and-sleep rhythm of their daily lives. Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) gives a standout performance as a middle-aged woman who is jolted into confronting -- perhaps even seeing for the first time -- her unfathomable feelings towards her young friend and coworker, the agoraphobic Kyle (played beautifully by Dustin Ashley). The supporting players all deliver as well. Why is it, I asked myself after the movie had ended and I watched the credits, have I never heard of any of these actors? Surely I would have read about someone with Doebereiner's unconventional charisma, or Dustin James, with the inarticulate and humble grace with which he played Kyle (he's like a character out of Alice Munro or Flannery O'Connor). I looked at the entry on this website and realized none of them had been in any other films: they must have been locals with no prior film experience. Experienced or not, their remarkably natural and subtle work blows Hollywood histrionics right out of the water. Kudos.
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