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Dramatic story of a young man's dark secret.
josephpmcgaha28 October 2011
"Mother's Red Dress" is the story of a young man with a dark secret. The film sucks you into its know that something terrible has happened, but the facts are not clear until they slowly reveal themselves, peeling back in layers like an onion. I found the characters entertaining - particularly the quirky cookie-making friend of the ingénue, who kept the story from getting too intense, while adding some humor to it. With a minimal budget, cast, crew and locations, No Restrictions Entertainment has succeeded in making a movie that entertains and even enthralls! I'm looking forward to their next project.
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Generations of pain
kmcmichael2116 November 2011
I am a product of a broken home, survivor of child abuse, and can honestly say this movie addressed the issue with sensitivity and style. I didn't feel like the issues were used as a way to make the movie more interesting or exciting... The characters are real, and dealing with real issues...and there is no sense of hopelessness due to their baggage. The numbers of people raised in dysfunctional homes is staggering but no one wants to talk about it due to perception...Mother's Red Dress is a step in the right direction in dealing with the reality of mental health problems, substance abuse, family dysfunction, and the fallout. This world is filled with survivors of abuse and dysfunction movies like this will help change the perception of the general public. Bravo!
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An honest, unflinching journey to hope
karen-214-96047816 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Why is running away from problems so seductive even though it never works to solve them? What does it really take for people to change? The film Mother's Red Dress invites the viewer to explore these questions, to have an honest, unflinching dialog with ourselves and reflect on our own experiences and behaviors, and, if we are willing to do the work, shows us a path in which we can chose to triumph over our own adversity to find a place of peace and hope.

I think the film poignantly captures the crazy- making orbit and trajectory of abuse, i.e., that oh-so-personal walk through someone's head feeling and wondering if these oh-my-God- horrific experiences are real. So often experiences with abuse make us feel crazy, as if we did something wrong to cause this unfathomable crap torrent upon us. It is lived insanity and crazy-making personified, except it's not because it is real and it's happening to you and when we're children, there may not be a damn thing we can do about it. I hope the folks I know who have survived terrible abuse and incest see this film. The film touched upon some places I have traveled in my own life, and revisiting those chapters was not easy.

In the end, however, I think the main character in Mother's Red Dress is ultimately fortunate, for how often in real life do we act upon the chance to confront that which made us who we are, truly face those chapters of our stories that form our own individual constitutions, our character, however painful they may be? We cannot undo them anymore than we can UN-spill milk. Every day we make choices about the kind of person we will be in this world, even if some of us due to abusive experiences are more acutely aware of the effect we can have on others. While some may say we suffer the sins of our fathers, every single day we can chose how we respond to them and choose to build our own capacity to heal and grow and thrive.
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Social issue film,very emotional & touching combined with a tragic love story.
marcella-selbach9 September 2011
A huge THANK YOU to producer John Paul Rice & writer/director Edgar Michael Bravo for giving me the opportunity to watch "Mother's Red Dress" before the premiere! I was actually deeply impressed & fascinated much more than I could ever imagine. From the first minute I saw the film,I was "caught". Mother's Red Dress is an extraordinary feature, very touching & moving & I felt as if I was part of the story! I could absolutely identify with the characters, feeling what they feel...suffering with them, waiting for a satisfying solution of the problems. The acting is perfect, all actors touched me emotionally but my favorite character of this film actually is "Brenda" ( Amanda Rogers), who's playing this role in a way that is stunning.

Not a single minute of the feature is boring, you suffer with the characters and you immediately start thinking about the social issue of the story which actually is sad & painful to think about.

I can highly recommend "Mother's Red Dress", the story is GREAT and the performance outstanding and the editing & soundtrack fit perfectly! Director,producer & actors did a fabulous job and the fascination for this feature will last for a long time. If you leave the movie theater, you take something with you.I started to think about what's happening around us every day and I felt helpless and lost. The emotional aspect is huge and combined with excellent music you will probably leave the movie with tears in your eyes! ( I did ) Watch this film ..... and enjoy!
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Heartfelt expression of how the film moved me
laurabyrdwillis22 April 2012
Mother's Red Dress portrays a young man, Paul experiencing the very real symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a disorder often associated with soldiers who return from war. Trauma is a psychologically distressing event outside the range of human experience. It involves a sense of intense fear, terror and helplessness. Our bodies respond to threats with the fight or flight reaction. With increases in the levels of threat (real or perceived), our response moves from vigilance to alarm to fear and finally terror. In therapy people talk about leaving their bodies and actually watching the event as a bystander, or sometimes going deep inside oneself. This dissociation, the mental mechanism by which one withdraws attention from the outside world and focuses on their inner world. The main character, Paul experiences very serious symptoms such as sleeplessness, nightmares, and even develops his own fantasy world in which his family is still living. The movie depicts a turning point when he actually becomes violent himself toward Ashley, the girl he loves.

I am most fortunate to have seen the film with my favorite advocate for people who have experienced violence. The discussion with John Paul Rice, the film's producer, was inspiring. As I shared with him, I'm always fascinated by the creative process and how someone can create art which forces people to look and ponder upon an issue. I tend not to go to movies that upset me. The last time I walked out of a rape scene, I decided never to go into a movie blindly again. I knew the film could show some graphic images and perhaps trigger some difficult feelings. I decided to go anyway. Mr. Rice talked about a study he encountered while researching for the film in which people rose up against terrorism and the terrorism ceased. He called the uprisers Freedom Fighters and used this as an analogy to standing up against child abuse. My friend reminded us of the Green Dot Campaign, a social norms campaign on college campuses that reminds us not to close our eyes to violence around us but to take a stand whenever we can. Mr. Rice also spoke about the cycle of violence and how all of society's perpetrators have experienced violence themselves.

The film uses two women, Ashley and Brenda to demonstrate how relationships can help people move past the pain of abuse. Brenda is an odd character to say the least, but I like her. She is suffering as much as Paul. Paul understands her and I think she knows it. It is poignant when Brenda says, "I need to deal with my bullshit alone." When Ashley and Brenda visit Paul at the psychiatric hospital, Brenda asks Ashley, "why did you pray with him if you don't think he is going to get better?" "All we have is the truth," she says. For me, this means we can help and reach out to others without losing ourselves. For those of us with the "Care-taker Complex," we can learn to take care of ourselves too. Ashley does not have to decide to risk her own safety just because she loves Paul.

Violence is so complex. I believe it creates a culture in which is becomes difficult to identify the perpetrator from the victim. This culture of violence begins in childhood. When adults and parents continue to expose children to physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse, we all suffer. Children may not always dissociate and create complex fantasy worlds, but they do suffer. Think about the vast array of problems that are a direct result of scared people running around trying to function in the world. Abuse, crime, and addiction don't even touch the surface of how society is affected by violence. We as a society must speak out and become Freedom Fighters for children and their families who often carry the burdens, guilt, and shame of generations before them.

Family and Children's Place has a model of treatment that focuses on the entire family. This very often includes perpetrators of all types of violence. This is not always popular in our society. People want to place perpetrators on sex offender registries, incarcerate and even castrate them before they want to help them. Family and Children's Place is the perfect agency to partner with this film. They are the Freedom Fighters for the entire family system when a child has been abused. Mother's Red Dress reminds us that we can all be Freedom Fighters by talking openly about the issue of child abuse and violence and to never ignore it when suspected. Professionals know the mandatory reporting law concerning abuse and neglect, but surely there must be more we can do than to call Child Protective Services. Offering support to the stressed out parent who is spanking out of anger or helplessness, or not being so quick to judge the woman who stays in an abusive relationship could help restore freedom to a society and culture where abuse is tolerated and sometimes encouraged in its' subtle forms.

One of the most frequently used American proverbs, "do not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes," is all about empathy. I strongly believe in professional counseling and all types of mental health treatment. My hope is one day all people will view it as taking care of emotional health just as we take care of our physical health with the help of physicians and other medical providers. I don't think we should have to be in therapy to experience someone without judgment. When we let go of judgment, we give others the gift of safety. When we feel safe, we are able to face the reality of our pasts by sharing it with others. When we realize we don't have to deal with our bullshit alone, we just might have the courage to walk through the pain. Then we can get on with the business of living.
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Top quality film making & acting
tico62620 October 2011
I was highly impressed with the quality of the this film. It has the look of mainstream work and I am sure that was no easy task without a mainstream budget. The story is touching, shocking, and dark at times. The acting and directing compliment the writing perfectly. I felt like I had been to that coffee shop and could be friends with any of them. Since it is an Independent film, I think there was more freedom to examine the darker sides that a mainstream film might skim or pretty up a bit to be appealing to more general audiences. Because of that freedom, you end up with a film that is much more real, much easier to identify with, and something that draws you in like a great novel. -- Teeco71
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Darkly mysterious and cleverly haunting.
stevelawrence-177-470064 October 2011
I got the pleasure of seeing this film by Edgar Bravo. The dark mystique at the beginning is what got me hooked, as it was fantastically done. And from then on there is a careful, masterful balance that keeps the viewer riveted, as I could sense of certain simmering under the character Paul, the protagonist which had me enthralled. All the characters seemed damaged to me which made me "feel" for them and it gave them all a unique likability. Throughout the film, events and characters make you wonder deeply about what is really going on below the surface. The characters aren't happy, wonderful people. They are real people with real demons. It's been a long, long time since I've been shocked and haunted at such an incredible outcome of a movie such as I was with Mother's Red Dress. You'll probably see little pieces of yourself in each of the characters. And you'll be doing your soul a lifetime favor by seeing this amazing film.
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andrew-carlson11109015 October 2011
This is not by any means a cookie cutter Hollywood film. The reason I go to independent films is because of this reason alone. I was so impressed by the films premise that i needed to go see this. I was invited to the premiere and very impressed with what I saw. I love to see movies where I ponder what I just saw for the next few days and this film did just that. It kept my attention in the theater and more importantly, the characters drew me in. The acting was up to par with Hollywood films with a much lower budget. The cinematography was beautiful and the film was well put together. There were times where I could feel what the characters felt and that emotion alone was enough to make me want to have this film on my shelf. An amazingly, breathtaking, and engaging film that I will watch many times again.
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Bills Reviews For Short Attention Spans
bipbop1325 February 2019
I have to say, after just finishing this film, that the writer/director Edgar Bravo should surely have a chance to do whatever he wishes for a follow up with the biggest name stars he can get. I see a fine future ahead for this man in drama related film. Awards are sure to follow him should he decide to continue his film making. I sure hope he does.

Mother's Red Dress is the story of a young man who has had a rough childhood, and whose mother has had to do horrible things to ensure the boy's safety. Paul (Timothy Driscoll), suffers from a sort of amnesia now, as he seems to remember his past, but not the specifics of it. He leaves his mother after her deadly encounter with an abusive boyfriend and ends up in a small town in southern California. There he meets Ashley (Alexandra Swarens), working with her friend in a coffee shop. Paul is inspired by Ashley to try and piece his life back together again. After receiving a call from his mother informing him that she has cancer, and another call from his father wanting to make amends for not being there during his childhood, Paul returns home to face his past, and his future, and the terrible truth that what he thought was real may not be reality.

This film had its meaty hooks into me pretty much from the opening credits. Writer/Director Edgar Bravo surprised me by filling out his whole film with engaging and complex characters. No one is wasted in the film, and there are no loose ends at the finale. There does seem to be an opening left for a sequel if the director desires it, but at the same time the open-ended feeling at the films climax almost seems to be a fitting end for this type of film, and the way the story was handled.

Now, if you're looking for a feel good story, happiness or an ending gift wrapped and handed to you, this is going to be a disappointing film. The tagline states "A Tragic Love Story", and they're not messing around about that fact. A lot of what transpires in the film feels like a mood piece, and at other times, the daily hum-drum grind of regular life. The film gives no promises to look forward to (other than a glimpse of hope near the films end), and pulls no punches when it comes to telling us about the story of a tragic life. The best thing this film does is to draw you in to the characters lives, and makes you feel for them. You feel some emotion for most every character in the film. You have to invest something to get the full appreciation of what is being told by the film maker. Truly good movies do that to us.

As far as the DVD presentation, the film is shot in widescreen format, and the film itself looks nice. It may have been shot on video, but doesn't really look like it, which is always a plus for me personally. The extras consist of a behind the scenes feature, and a cast feature. Grab a copy now, and enjoy a great director in the making.
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