Review: ‘Easter’

Weighty themes relating to religion, marital secrets, new beginnings and redemption are rendered entirely ineffectual in "Easter," a windy, pretentious drama that has the feel of a vanity production for all involved. Audiences won't be much larger than its cast.

Weighty themes relating to religion, marital secrets, new beginnings and redemption are rendered entirely ineffectual in “Easter,” a windy, pretentious drama that has the feel of a vanity production for all involved. Transferred from the 1997 Off Broadway stage production with playwright Will Scheffer, director Richard Caliban and leading lady Jodie Markell all remaining on board, piece about a fugitive couple trying to put the past behind them features symbolism and allegory galore but is unfortunately dominated by the maddeningly flighty behavior of its central character. Audiences won’t be much larger than its cast.

Wilma Ransom has a thing about churches, and it doesn’t take long to realize that that thing is burning them down. Settled temporarily in an isolated farm house (pic was shot three years ago in Hastings, Neb.), cowboy husband Matthew tries to keep his haunted wife on the straight and narrow, but she’s so far over the line that she’s a lost cause from the outset as far as a viewer is concerned. Sub-Tennessee Williams portrait of a troubled woman losing her moorings to reality doesn’t make a true emotional connection for a moment.

Easter

Production

An Anima Sola/G-Force production. Produced by Brad M. Gilbert, Will Scheffer, Christine K. Walker. Executive producers, Michael Roban, Ezra Swerdlow. Co-producer, Mark V. Olsen. Co-executive producers, Michael Morely, Robert Precious. Directed by Richard Caliban. Screenplay, Will Scheffer, Caliban.

Crew

Camera (color), Claudio Rocha; editor, Susan Littenberg; music, Jeff Danna; production designer, Jody Asnes; costume designer, Daphne-Stevens Pascucci. Reviewed at Santa Barbara Film Festival, March 6, 2003. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Jodie Markell, Barry Del Sherman, Max Wright, Sean Runnette.
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