Stars: Julia Severance, Christopher Bradley, Erus Harrington and Mike Rolfe
|This film was an official selection at Filmstock 2014. Here's an index to my reviews of all 2014 films.|
Sloan is a precocious young lady, way ahead of the rest of her photography class but taking it seriously and finding a lot of fault in her work. She’s naturally horrified to find that her dad has pawned her laptop and her camera lenses, not only because it’ll affect her schoolwork but because all the pictures she had to remember her mother are now gone. Dad is a broken but barking Christopher Bradley, looking awful and sounding believably worse, but he’s only here briefly to set up that heartache and set Sloan on the road to a local photography store to find a new used lens. This is important because, when she connects it to her camera and experiments with it in the desert, it highlights more than was there at the time. How she reacts to this discovery and where it leads her, you’ll need to find out yourself because that way lie spoilers I’m not willing to expose. Suffice it to say that there’s a big picture here that hasn’t yet found its focus and I honestly wasn’t trying to throw out photography pun after pun but they just happened.
Technically, this excels but watching the credits afresh highlights a lot of good names that I’ve seen on a lot of good credit lists. Cinematographer Jason Ryan, who keeps the camera notably moving throughout, is especially racking up a heck of a portfolio, but he’s not alone in that. However, Kendall Humbert, who edited the film with aplomb, apparently hasn’t done anything before this, at least according to IMDb. I’m sure that will change soon. The only negative aspect on the technical side is that there’s too much wind in the outdoor desert scenes, a curse that’s particularly prominent in Arizona filmmaking but one that’s not horrendous here. We can still hear everything we want to hear, but that wind could still have been a little less prominent in the mix. At the end of the day, this comes back to the script, which is deceptively full of clever little details. A cynic might find fault with the emotional manipulation but, even though I’ve seen it all, it caught at my throat too and I’m certainly not complaining at how well it did so.