WILDLIKE. It may seem a bit off-putting in its initial stages. In fact, my spouse, oft-mentioned in these posts, while ready to call it a day early on, nonetheless stuck it out, and by the finale declared himself very happy that he did. In this, the first film of his to secure a theatrical release, writer/director /producer Frank Hall Green proves himself surprisingly adept at circumventing melo-drama. And since his movie includes plenty of subject matter that would (and in most movies repeatedly does) lend itself to melodrama, I think it's clear that Green intentionally wanted to avoid that pitfall.
Hillary Spera) that locates whenever possible the human face as the key to character, while plotwise avoiding confrontation, except in the most necessary circum-stances (and even then, Green withholds any push to go over the top). He also quite cannily allows us viewers to form conclusions (just as we so often do in life) before we really have enough information to understand a situation. Thus we imagine the movie is about a typically rebellious and withdrawn teenager (a lovely, still and deep performance from Ella Purnell, below) who is going to spend some time with another close family member while her mom is away.
Bruce Greenwood, above, who throughout his nearly 40-year career in film and television has amassed a terrifically diverse and creative resume. That is he is not one of our most famous leading men still surprises me, as his acting chops, together with his good looks, ought to have catapulted him to stardom long ago. Instead he keeps appearing in smart little independent films like this one (or Meek's Cutoff, Barney's Version, or the marvellous but underseen And Now a Word From Our Sponsor). With 134 credits (so far) the actor no doubt has many years and roles ahead of him. Here, as the quiet man who grudgingly takes our heroine under his wing, Greenwood is aces once again.
Brian Geraghty (below) and Noland Gerard Funk (above) as two other young men in Mackenzie's travels. Funk is fine as the surprised-into-sexuality semi-suitor, while Geraghty unveils even more of his seemingly non-stop versatility as he speeds from role to role, this one among his most unusual so far. Also giving another of her wonderful supporting performances is Ann Dowd (two photos below), as the smart and thoughtful woman the pair encounters on its travels.
Amplify from Killer Films and Tandem Pictures, opens this Friday, September 25, in thirteen cities across the country. Click here to see all of them, with theaters included.