As the film opens, Jonah and Maggie are in the process of buying their first home, picking out one that feels perfect to start a family. They move in, riding a wave of satisfaction at opening the next chapter in their lives. But it doesn't last. Days after moving in, the newspaper where Jonah works makes job cuts, his position among them. They try to muddle through and hold on to their dream. Maggie picks up a waitressing gig to supplement her daycare job, and Jonah tries desperately to find work and renegotiate the terms of their mortgage, to no avail. And trying to compete in a dying industry and a saturated job market, his opportunities are severely limited. After a particularly humiliating interview and another round of bad news about the mortgage, Jonah is at his wit's end. He heads to the coast to regroup, but never returns home. He is presumed to have drowned while kayaking in the ocean, but no one is certain. Maggie is left to pick up the pieces while weighing her grief, her ...Written by
John Goshorn's feature film debut as a director manages to do something that even the most established directors shoot for, it puts a human (and tragic) face on the country's recent economic downturn. In less capable hands this morality tale might be too preachy, or overwrought, but we never find ourselves scolded by the film. Maggie and Jonah want take part in the American dream. They want to own a house. And so they buy a house, but for them, like for so many others that house becomes a noose around their necks when Jonah looses his job at the newspaper. Seeing no other options Jonah makes the ultimate sacrifice to help provide for Maggie. Jennifer Faith Ward and Tom Kemnitz Jr as Maggie and Jonah respectively are incredibly engaging and breathe life into their characters in way that reminds us of early Cassavetes. In fact, that filmmaker is the one that seems to have been this production's patron saint. Goshorn seems completely willing to enclose us in the claustrophobia of realism no matter how uncomfortable or horrific it may be for Maggie and Jonah, or for us.
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