Director: Rowan Woods
Running time: 91 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 23rd June 2009 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 11th June 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those stories where the lives of unrelated individuals are linked by a traumatic event. In this case it is a shooting at a diner in Los Angeles that links the survivors. The film examines how these events effected the lives of those involved. One thing that attracted me to this film was a very strong cast, but I know from bitter experience that this is no guarantee of the quality of the piece. Unfortunately I was less than satisfied with the film. No problem with the quality of the performances, that was a given, it was all very disjointed and ended up as a bit of a mess I’m afraid.
Here’s a bit about the characters: There’s a teenage girl who turns to religion and her friend, a boy who just clams up and won’t speak to anyone. There’s the waitress who neglects her baby because she feels she cannot connect with anyone any more. There’s a man who has medical problems and a gambling habit who takes off to a casino to try his luck, having survived. And then there’s the doctor who becomes obsessed with saving every patient, even if he has to make them sick in the first place. The film tells us about all of these characters and their friends and families and how they try to deal with the aftermath.
As I said there is a great cast; Kate Beckinsale is the waitress Carla Davenport, Forest Whitaker is the gambler, Charlie Archenault, Guy Pearce is the doctor, Bruce Laraby, Dakota Fanning is the teenager, Anne Hagen and Josh Hutcherson is her teenage friend, Jimmy Jaspersen. I think you can see why I might have been attracted to a movie with these actors involved.
The production was pretty good, although it did look like there was a bit of a tight budget. I get the impression that this story would probably work better on the page rather than on the screen. Either that, or something got terribly lost in translation! Unfortunately it all felt far too disjointed to me and the thread of the story got lost. It’s almost as if there were too many characters’ stories to tell and I felt that removing just one of them would have given the others more room to breathe. Sadly though, it is what it is and I have to give it my NOT recommended seal of (dis)approval.
My Score: 4.5/10
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0948547/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1190811-fragments/