With sudden passing of his grandmother, Peter Latang returns to his hometown and encounters his long lost, childhood friend, Donald Treebeck. What begins as a simple favor, turns into a long day's journey into the past.
An exhausted, workaholic actress, Anna Baskin, 44, abruptly extricates herself from a successful but mind-numbing TV role, returning to her past life in New York to reinvent herself. But despite the desire for transformation, she cannot find herself outside of her career. When an upsetting personal betrayal unexpectedly leads to the role of her life, she must confront the reality of her past relationships in order to clear a path forward. The intimate story of Anna and her friends Isaac and Kate become magnified by the film's surrounding themes: gentrification, addiction, autoimmune disease, burnout, sexism in the film industry and 21st century marketing of the self.
Does not deliver on the themes promised in the IMDb synopsis but nevertheless an interesting watch
Saw this movie at the Rotterdam film festival (IFFR.COM) 2016. It was part of the official Tiger Award Competition, due to a new policy this year being confined to only eight movies. The latter (competition = festival's flagship) inevitably gives rise to high expectations. I'm happy to say that this was the first time during the festival that the Competition section really delivered an interesting experience. (As a side note: The rest of the IFFR Competition mostly disappointed, as I could appreciate only 2 out of 8. But that is a different story altogether.)
Centerpiece is an understandable dilemma, nothing far-fetched about it, and the rest of the plot is equally comprehensible and very realistic. In retrospect the ending is a logical development out of the foregoing events, though I confess that I did not see it coming. For me, it was a real surprise how things eventually came about. Throughout the running time my interest remained, and I saw no real dull or slow moments. A second confession is that I admit that some of the discussions went past me, but it did not make a difference to value the movie in total with score maximum 5 for the audience award when leaving the theater.
The IMDb synopsis made me start on the wrong foot, however. It promised an attempt to study a series of contemporary issues, entailing nothing less than (start quote) "gentrification, addiction, autoimmune disease, burnout, sexism in the film industry and 21st century marketing of the self" (end quote). Don't expect answers for any of these real-life problems, however. If only I had something useful to say about one or two themes out of this list, I would have been very happy. And this movie did not enlighten me either on these interesting topics.
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