Strong story told in a satisfyingly structured and paced manner
A sheriff from a small Texan town appears under pressure when one Sunday morning the local DA arrives at his door and seeks to ask some questions about an arrest he made a few days prior.
The end credits reveal a message that highlights this as an 'issue' film, and I guess it is in a way; however it is much better as a straight drama than anything else, and it is also one best enjoyed relatively cold. This is not because there are huge twists or turns to be experienced without anyone telling you anything, but rather because it is a film that tells a really good story in a very well structured fashion. With a story unfolding around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning, and another one being fleshed out via flashback, and with crossover between the two, we get to have a picture built gradually, which makes sense retrospectively when you look back over the film and provides a satisfying feeling of the story-telling having been in control, but it also delivers emotionally.
This latter aspect is probably the best because it is hard to really know where your emotions lie as there is a lot to process here. With the good writing throughout it does help to have a heavyweight cast – and I guess in this way it being an issues film helps (and a proof-of-concept for a feature, I think).Wilson Bethel, Summer Glau, and Regina King all have good presence and do strong work – but really here the writing and the structure/pace of delivery are the stars.
I have avoided saying too much, not because this is a film with a M. Night Shyamalan style twist at the end, but rather because it is just an engaging story which unfolds really well at a good pace – and to join it at the start and follow to the end is the best way to see the film. Don't be put off by the 'issues film' label, just watch it as a strong piece of drama.
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