Like a working-class “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Resilience” hooks an ordinary man with a high-stakes moral dilemma and watches him squirm on the line. Devoid of irony or the wink-wink quirkiness that typifies other indie pics, Paul Bojack’s rough-edged portrait of desperate souls observes as a series of little white lies and not-so-innocent omissions turn fatal: Lonely human resources manager Jimmy (Henry LeBlanc) ends up with blood on his hands after refusing to let a well-intentioned workplace indiscretion jeopardize his cushy job. Arthouse audiences who welcome challenging material will find sustenance in film’s fractured narrative and unflinching characterizations.
Though “Resilience” opens with Jimmy hiring a call girl to play out his fantasy of cheating on a nonexistent girlfriend, as sleazebags go, he’s no worse than the other rock-bottom types who inhabit Bojack’s world. There’s his borderline homeless uncle (Al Rossi), the desperate alcoholic love interest (Julie Alexander) and his unscrupulous cousin (Steve Wilcox), who’s contemplating a date with an underage hooker. Bojack studies these individuals with an almost Sartrean curiosity, damning Jimmy not with a smoking gun but the sound of a dead man’s voice on his answering machine.