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The Bridge Game

Vid-shot "The Bridge Game" refreshingly focuses on unglamorous Midwestern housewives, but it packs way too many shocking revelations into one afternoon. Script borders on soap opera, though they do their best to transcend claustrophobic setting borne of small budget. Result reps a decent industry calling card.

With:
With: Tessa Cavaletto, Leslie Mitts Martin, Carolyn Robertson, Jennifer Massey, Joyce Anabo, Paddy Myers, Anastasia Cronin.

An all-female “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” set in “About Schmidt” territory, vid-shot “The Bridge Game” refreshingly focuses on unglamorous Midwestern housewives, but it packs way too many shocking revelations into one afternoon. Script by first-time feature helmers Rhomie Thompson and David L. Lowe borders on soap opera, though they do their best to transcend claustrophobic setting borne of small budget. Result reps a decent industry calling card. Lack of name players, however, will inhibit what might otherwise be a small screen shelf life.

One year after Evie’s suicide, members of a Heartland bridge clique — now including substitute Ellen (Jennifer Massey) — arrive at Queenie’s (Carolyn Robertson) house for their weekly game. Queenie announces it’ll be her last, as she will be traveling. Actually, she is going to have a mastectomy. During a teary and alcohol fueled afternoon, players learn Dorothy(Leslie Mitts Martin) has been battered by her brutish spouse, and poison-tongued Blossom(Tessa Cavaletto) is a lesbian. Perfs are solid, but pic is very much a teleplay, with the dialogue, prolonged monologues and narrative twists all too artificial for a feature film. Tech package is adequate.

The Bridge Game

Production: A North by South Prods. production. Produced by North by South Prods. Directed, written by Rhomie Thompson, David L. Lowe.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Joachim Schirmacher; editors, Schirmacher, Panagraph, Thompson, Lowe; music, David Maddux, Raphael Carmany, Paul Alan Johnson. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 21, 2002. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Tessa Cavaletto, Leslie Mitts Martin, Carolyn Robertson, Jennifer Massey, Joyce Anabo, Paddy Myers, Anastasia Cronin.

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