Thursday, January 18, 2018
Directed By: Derick Martini
Written By: Derick Martini & Steve Martini
Cinematography By: Frank Godwin
Editor: Mark Yoshikawa, Derick Martini & Steve Martini
Cast: Kieran Culkin, Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy, Logan Huffman
Set in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, SCOTT, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American life during a time of drastic economic and emotional change.
This film reminds me of the character driven dramas of the 1970’s and 80’s. This coming of age tale is quite good. As nothing much really happens during the story our protagonist does wake up from their innocence and idealism to realize real things going on around him. How the world really works.
One can even like the Star Wars references sprinkled throughout the film but the thing that makes the film (produced by THE MARTIN SCORSESE) shine are the performances. Alec Baldwin doesn’t go over the top and keeps his voice at a minimum making his mild mannered character more realistic with his calm then bluster usually associated with this type of role.
Jill Hennessy gets the best role. She has ever had and impresses as the mother of the protagonist. Who puts in a false facade, but never seems happy or satisfied except when it comes to her children. She should get more chances with roles like this that allow her to create and shine. Not always play the beauty only.
Kieran Culkin adds an energy to the film anytime he is on screen. He is captivating and charismatic, You can’t keep your eyes off him. You are Not necessarily sure why his character is going to do next.
Rory Culkin does well in his second lead role after MEAN CREEK. His asides to himself on front of his mirror are a comedic highlight.
Emma Roberts is quite poised in her performance as Rory’s characters best friend. Who believes she is wise beyond her years. She is quite surprising but comfortable and assured in her role. --The film conveys the slow speed in which things move in a small town, also how bland they are and how the smallest thing can become a scandal.
Timothy Hutton is the one to beat though in this film. His character is so unorthodox and scary. It’s almost like he’s a character from another film. While her is very believable as a man going through the ravages of Lyme disease. Every time he is on screen the film becomes tense like a thriller. Never knowing if or when he is going to go off. He seems dangerous and unstable which is why the last 10 - 15 minutes of this movie are so intense. As you are never sure what’s going to happen, but you are prepared for the worst. The actions of the movie feel nurtured but also random.
The other aspect of the film which is hard to believe was the speed of the reconciliation of his parents. It was too pat and perfect. It seemed like a gimmick to bring home the ending.
There are two versions of the ending. The ambiguous one and the fatalistic one. The ambiguous one is the one that is presented as a natural audience friendly ending. The original more downbeat ending in an extra deleted scene on the dvd. The one the director/co-screenwriter preferred.
Is it wrong I found the most enjoyable scenes of the film the fight scenes with the bully?
This is a film I couldn’t quite make up my mind on at first. I had to watch it a few times before it became clear. It’s a film you will think about for a while after even though at first you will be tempted to write it off. It just feels a bit too typical
It’s a good rental for a weeknight.