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At an absurdly self-indulgent student film festival, the directors of the (mostly terrible) short films start getting killed off one by one and a budding British documentary filmmaker decides to investigate.
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Ricky Brown (Ryan Kwanten) is a high school youth in Texas who knows nothing about the outside world for his was raised his entire life to follow the West Texas tradition of playing football on the gridiron. Ricky desperately tries to find a direction with his life as well as try to shake off the troubled memory of his older brother's recent death in order to avoid the pressure of him to play as his school's top star. Fleeing from the pressures of his small town as well as his mother (Karen Black), Ricky travels to New York City where he shacks up with his former mentor John Cross (Hill Harper), who is now a Catholic priest of a small church. Ricky also meets Vera (Natasha Lyonne) a free-spirited young woman who works as a diner waitress who he hopes to help him find direction. At the same time, Ricky also becomes acquainted with Rosie (Élodie Bouchez) a young Frenchwoman who has a "special relationship" with John that may have lasting consequences for John and Rosie.Written by
I rented this film because I'm a fan of Natasha Lyonne. I honestly wasn't too interested in the dramatic theme at first. Once I put the DVD in and first saw the menu screen (with scenes from the film running) I had a good feeling about the potential. I very quickly got absorbed in the story and the underlying emotion in the main characters. It is a bit roughly edited. There are times you hear voices, and it's not obvious that it is a flashback. This can be a bit confusing, but not to the point where you lose interest in the interaction between the characters. All of the actors do a great job of quietly harboring their complicated emotions, and eventually releasing and making some measure of peace. Natasha is very much as attractive as usual, and plays a character that seems to have some unspoken issues of her own. And the film leaves you contemplating the possibilities of the futures of all the characters involved. It is an inspired work that I think is worth seeing, especially if you appreciate a coming of age story or stories of personal growth and realization.
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