Film Review: ‘Somewhere Slow’

Somewhere Slow Film Review

Jeremy O'Keefe directs a tonally all-over-the-place drama that fails to convince.

An unhappy bulimic goes on the lam with a sexually confused Mormon drifter in “Somewhere Slow,” a mediocre journey of self-discovery from indie helmer-writer Jeremy O’Keefe. Although it reps a step up in production values from O’Keefe’s micro-budget debut, “Wrestling,” this tonally all-over-the-place drama fails to convince; the tic-filled lead performances don’t help, either. After touring second-tier fests, the pic opens Jan. 31 in limited release prior to VOD launch on Feb. 4.

Hiding her low self-esteem under a thick layer of pancake makeup, with bright lipstick calling attention to her artificially enhanced lips and toothy smile, the well-coiffed, 40-something Anna (Jessalyn Gilsig, “Glee,” “Vikings”) goes about daily life like a crazy-eyed automaton, her offbeat interactions and odd little-girl voice seemingly utterly out of synch with the people and situations she encounters. Anna is one year into a not particularly fulfilling marriage with the well-meaning but controlling Robert (David Costabile), who is oblivious to her feelings, especially in bed. An underdeveloped narrative strand reveals that she has a prickly relationship with her cancer-stricken mother (Lindsay Crouse) and younger sister.

One very bad day, Anna’s world comes crashing down around her. Fired from her job as a skin-care rep, she flees in denial, dragging her suitcase of samples, only to have to her car run out of gas in the middle of a big rainstorm just as her cell-phone battery dies. To make matters worse, she wanders into the bloody aftermath of a deadly convenience-store robbery and wanders out with the contents of the cash register in a plastic bag. It seems more than a little out of character for a woman who later declares that she has never even snuck candy into a movie theater, but typical of the script’s sloppy treatment of character details.

It requires an even greater leap of faith to swallow germophobe Anna’s relationship with Travis (Graham Patrick Martin, “Major Crimes”), a mysterious teen hustler with multiple aliases who first drags her to the drug-filled home of a louche photographer (Wallace Langham), and then drives her, in a stolen car, to the summer cottage her family once owned on the New England coast. Despite the fact that the gay-for-pay Travis is half Anna’s age and taking pills for an unspecified illness that may be HIV, the pair wind up in a passionate affair that plays out in cliched images and some ludicrous time-lapse cross-cutting. Luckily, Anna’s habit of vomiting after eating takes a convenient remission during their idyll.

Best aspect of the production is Justin Talley’s moody lensing, which tightly frames Anna in her woman-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown existence in urban Delaware, but gives her more space against the rural beauty of the coast as she evaluates her life. Saccharine score by Barry J. Neely doesn’t add anything to the action.

Film Review: 'Somewhere Slow'

Reviewed on DVD, Chicago, Jan. 26, 2014. Running time: 96 MIN.

Production

A Logolite Entertainment and Screen Media Films release of a Logolite Entertainment, D Street Pictures, Lady in the Tree Prods., Tax-Free Films production. Produced by Michael Anderson, Christopher Sepulveda, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jeremy O’Keefe. Executive producers, Dexter Davis, Joseph Norton, Adriana Trevino, David Nyblom, Wendy Benge, Graham Patrick Martin. Co-producers, Bliss Katopothis, Istvan Criste, Tatiana S. Riegel.

Crew

Directed, written by Jeremy O’Keefe. Camera (color, HD), Justin Talley; editors, Brian Voelkerding, Marilyn McMahon Adams; music, Barry J. Neely; music supervisor, Brand Birtwistle; production designer, Lee Tosca; art director, Laura Barker; costume designer, Tasha Goldthwait; sound, Brian Hackett, Durand Trench, Stanley Kastner, Jon Greasley, Don Gamache; associate producer, Jami Rudofsky.

With

Jessalyn Gilsig, Graham Patrick Martin, David Costabile, Wallace Langham, Lindsay Crouse, Robert Forster, Denise Grayson, Lauren Schneider, Melissa Claire Egan.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

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:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

  1. Hadrian says:

    Variety’s review of ‘Somewhere Slow’ is further proof that you can’t please everyone. Some “professional” critics have a tendency to over-analyze a film’s content while remaining oblivious to the beauty of its subtlety. The alleged contradictions are nothing of the sort when removing the “critique glasses” and remembering the lessons taught by your psych 101 professor. The few unexpected actions of the main characters are believable, and this movie is heartfelt. I recommend this film while enjoying a glass of red wine, not while using a jeweler’s monocular in hopes of finding unforgivable flaws. 4 out of 5 stars.

More Film News from Variety

Loading