- 1h 42min
A jaded yet driven news photojournalist wakes up in the middle of nowhere and tries to piece together the events of the last 24 hoursA jaded yet driven news photojournalist wakes up in the middle of nowhere and tries to piece together the events of the last 24 hoursA jaded yet driven news photojournalist wakes up in the middle of nowhere and tries to piece together the events of the last 24 hours
As with all Double Edge Film productions (Winan's and producing partner Joe Sekiya's Denver based film company) "11:59" is concerned with perception and purpose and the themes the duo have explored in their preceding short films, re-emerge here in broader more refined strokes.
The picture opens with a burst of nervous energy as a breaking news story unfolds. The camera hand held, the edits quick, the music lively. Winans is eager to draw us in but doesn't quite achieve sure footing until after the initial 15 minutes when the action settles down. The films strongest visual styles recall moments from two other indie darlings - "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream", of which the latter is the most blatant. Director of Photography Jeff Pointer frames the sequences well and Winans, not only writer and director, does triple duty as editor, saving the films mediocre performances with smart cuts that keep the pacing steady and engaging.
Raymond Andrew Bailey gives a committed performance in the role of Aaron Doherty, the Jimmy Stewart of the piece, who experiences a flash forward revelation which allows him to ultimately touch ground and reconnect with something more significant than his career ambitions have. Bailey is likable and very watchable in the role, however he brings nothing particularly unique to his character, other than communicating mild frustration in relation to the existential mire in which he finds himself entwined. The juiciest role of the enterprise falls in the hands of Liz Cunningham, an alum of Double Edge, who previously was lensed by Winans and company in the short film "The Maze". Here Cunningham gets to play an edgy high profile news producer who seems hell bent on her station becoming "Colorado's News Leader" but in fact has some dirty laundry. It is Cunningham who gets the best dialogue,although at times she comes across as caricature. In every scene she appears, she plays the same level of intensity. A more nuanced performance would have made a world of difference. Laura Fuller as Lisa Winders, reporter and sidekick to cameraman Aaron, comes across as mousy at times but does have effective moments. As with director Winans, these actors seem poised for future success.
The films imagery does linger in the mind. Perhaps the most standout imagery and finest moment comes near films end. Aaron is pushing himself to the limit in a race against the clock so as to alter a foreshadowed outcome. The scene serves as a fitting metaphor to this indie accomplishment,nearly five years in the making, which like our hero in "11:59" is sure to propel Jamin Winans into a fuller realization of an already purposeful career.
- Feb 20, 2006