Review: ‘Over the GW’

Gabriele Muccino, Amy Pascal and Jean

A documentary-style drama that is too narratively disjointed to achieve maximum impact.

Drawing upon his own harrowing experiences in a now-defunct cult-like rehab center, writer-director Nick Gaglia has fashioned a documentary-style drama that is too narratively disjointed to achieve maximum impact, but too emotionally potent in fits and starts to be dismissed out of hand. Ultimately, “Over the GW” resembles nothing so much as a rough draft for a more conventional feature. But its raw energy and real-world underpinnings might attract venturesome auds to screenings at commercial and nonprofit venues.

George Gallagher appears as Gaglia’s autobiographical alter ego, Tony Serra, a drug-abusing Bronx teen whose worried mom (Julia Moriarty) checks him into a New Jersey rehabilitation clinic where physical restraint, mental abuse and will-breaking brainwashing are routine therapies. Gallagher easily generates sympathy as he’s repeatedly brutalized by the overbearing minions of the center’s frightfully zealous (and apparently, medically unlicensed) Dr. Hiller (a manic Albert Insinnia). But Kether Donohue (as Tony’s sister, another clinic inmate) and Nicholas Serra (as Tony’s increasingly concerned father) make more powerful impressions in slightly more multifaceted roles. Pic overall is haphazardly constructed — the passing of time is announced, but never felt — but skittish DV lensing is effective.

Over the GW


A Seventh Art Releasing release of an Over the GW production. Produced by Nick Gaglia, Theresa Gaglia. Directed, written, edited by Nick Gaglia.


Camera (color, DV), Gaglia; music, Will Di Martino, John Presnell; sound, Dale Chase; associate producer, Kether Donohue. Reviewed on DVD, Houston, June 24, 2007. (In Slamdance Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 76 MIN.


George Gallagher, Kether Donohue, Albert Insinnia, Nicholas Serra, Julia Moriarty.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety