Sam, a disenchanted young man, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment's pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.
David Robert Mitchell
A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.
Don't let the plot synopsis fool you. First-time writer-director Trey Edward Shults has managed to craft a unique and absorbing family drama from a premise which appears mundane and conventional on the surface.
Krisha Fairchild is magnificent in the lead role, and the mostly non-actor cast add a heightened sense of honesty and realism to the drama, which can make for engrossing, if at times uncomfortable viewing.
However, what makes Krisha truly stand out is the cinematography and score. With an opening shot lasting about six minutes, it's clear from the start that this isn't your run-of-the-mill family drama. The camera is used in ways that can sometimes call attention to itself, but is always in service of the story. The rattling score permeates the film with a feeling of dread and anxiety which, with the camera-work, really makes us feel what the title character is feeling.
While Krisha is not a perfect film (although the opening 20-30 minutes come close), it manages to feel unique and original in ways I didn't think would be possible in 2016. This is the most pleasant surprise of the year, and I can't wait to see what Shults does next.
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