Saturday 22 July 2023

Movie Review: The Rest Of Us (2019)

Genre: Drama
Director: Aisling Chin-Yee
Starring: Heather Graham, Sophie NĂ©lisse, Jodi Balfour
Running Time: 80 minutes

Synopsis: Children's books author Cami Hayes (Heather Graham) and her teenaged daughter Aster (Sophie NĂ©lisse) live in dream house in North Bay, Ontario. Cami's ex-husband dies suddenly, leaving his second wife Rachel (Jodi Balfour) and young daughter Talulah (Abigail Pniowsky) penniless and facing eviction. Cami invites Rachel and Talulah to stay with her and Aster, an awkward arrangement that leads to new dynamics and unexpected revelations.

What Works Well: This is a compact four-character drama with excellent performances, sharp edges, and a penchant for dark humour. Director Aisling Chin-Yee's concise scenes build a milieu for two women and their two daughters to explore present realities through the glare of a wrecked past. The outcome is an organic collision of unmet expectations, Cami confronting behaviour now reflected in her daughter, while Rachel comes to terms with the hospitality of the woman she wronged. Seething resentment threatens to boil over, but affection and understanding also compete for space.

What Does Not Work As Well: The short length demands a lopsided focus on snarky and selfish behaviour at the expense of demonstrated sympathy.  

Conclusion: An enjoyably jagged journey from inflamed hate to informed humanity.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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