Stars: Raymond Scott, Jane Fendelman, Colleen Hartnett and Seth Gandrud
|This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2014. Here's an index to my reviews of 2014 films.|
|This film was an official selection at the Jerome Indie Music & Film Festival in Jerome, AZ in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 films.|
|This film was a submission to one of the IFP Phoenix film challenges in the 2012-3 season. Here's an index to my reviews of 2012-3 submissions.|
Three of the four cast members are multi-award winning names in the local film scene, so it comes as no surprise that they all provide strong performances here. The fourth is Raymond Scott, who quickly proves as the first person we see that he's up to acting alongside them. We're given no names, but IMDb tells us that he's Jim Morris and he's married to Marlene, probably for many years. Their body language suggests that life isn't going swimmingly, even if they have the traditional house in the suburbs. He doesn't want to get out of bed and clearly needs that splash of water to wake him up fully. He walks with some care as he goes through the morning routine. When his wife joins him, in the welcome form of Jane Fendelman, they only converse in sparse banalities and don't look at each other when they do. There's no physical contact between them whatsoever, so it ought to be safe to assume that they're only going through the motions. Then, as he takes a hose to the front garden, he sees what they used to be.
Looking back to that original IFP Breakout screening, I wasn't merely not seeing the point of the film until it was firmly presented, I was seeing the suggestion of a bunch of other red herrings which, for the most part, aren't really there. I must have brought some outside baggage into the screening that day, keeping pointers in my brain from whatever I had been watching earlier or just making inappropriate judgements on the fly about what I was seeing. Watching afresh, it's lot simpler and more focused than I recall and I wonder why I had problems reading it properly. Certainly there's a lot more to the stories of the Morrises and the Collettas, but this isn't that film; it's merely a reminder that, like my own personal experience of this picture, what we see isn't necessarily what's there. Bill Wetherill wrote, produced and directed and deserves much credit for doing so, as do Devin Berko for his camerawork and editing and Shari K Green for her script supervision. This one has legs for a good reason; I'll be seeing it again, I'm sure.