HELLO LONESOME, Hi On DemandJune 02, 2011

HELLO LONESOME, Hi On Demand

Film Movement

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: HELLO LONESOME (Film Movement).

 

HELLO LONESOME, Hi On Demand
By Adam Schartoff

 

Three stories about isolation and the desire to connect; provocative, funny and painful all at the same time. These stories are woven together to create HELLO LONESOME, Adam Reid’s debut feature film.

In one storyline, shallow on-line gambler Gordon (Nate Smith) meets pretty Debby (Sabrina Lloyd) through an Internet dating service. Whether its Debby’s charm or her wide screen television —one’s never sure initially— it isn’t long before Gordon has moved in. When Debby discovers that she is ill, will Gordon rise to the occasion or make a dash for the door?

 



In a second storyline, widow Eleanor (Lynn Cohen, Magda from SEX AND THE CITY) has lost her driver’s license due to her failing vision. She ends up relying on her young single next-door neighbor, Gary (James Urbaniak) for more than just trips to the supermarket.

 



Lastly, aging voice over actor Bill (Harry Chase) has to talk his postal deliveryman Omar (Kamel Boutros) for social time and an overnight play date from his black book to fill the void of actual family relationships. Recording out of his built-in studio doesn’t help his sense of claustrophobia, even though he lives in the middle of the woods.

 

HELLO LONESOME may remind some of a couple of other multi-strand films: Rodrigo Garcia’s MOTHER AND CHILD and Eric Mendelsohn’s 3 BACKYARDS; Both of those films are emotionally evocative as well. In those two films lives spill over from one storyline to another while those in HELLO LONESOME remain isolated both in their circumstances but also within their own vignettes.

In fact, each story takes place in a different social habitat though they all feel distinctly northeastern. The young couple’s story is an urban one while the other two are suburban and bucolic. As a group, the stories cohere and feel of one world but the characters do not encounter one another. Eleanor needs Gary to chauffeur her to supermarkets because there aren’t public transportation alternatives. It’s a personal relationship but also reflects a larger isolation that exists in the suburbs. It can be a very lonely existence if you aren’t filling up all those bedrooms.

Ultimately it is the performances that make HELLO LONESOME the stand out that it is. Director Reid has not only put together a fine ensemble cast but has also provided them with a worthwhile script. The result is a film that feels less like the DIY indie despite its being made with a shoestring budget on a whirlwind shooting schedule.

 



It could have easily have fallen prone to melodrama or worse, just plain bad acting. Ms. Cohen in particular is a welcome site. In a role that a few years ago might have gone to either Olympia Dukakis or Barbara Barrie, she delivers a performance that is simple but nuanced. If HELLO LONESOME is any indication, one can only look forward to Mr. Reid’s next feature film.

 

DEMAND IT

 

- Adam Schartoff

Adam

Adam Schartoff is film journalist for several film-related web sites as well as Media Editor for WestView, a downtown NYC newspaper. He lives in Brooklyn.


Look for HELLO LONESOME (Film Movement) under your cable system's On Demand section.

 

Read More of Adam's  Reviews and Interviews:

LIMBO - DEMAND IT

HIGH COST OF LIVING - DEMAND IT

WRECKED - DEMAND IT

BROTHERHOOD - DEMAND IT

RUBBER - RISK IT

FREAKONOMICS - DEMAND IT

VOD Spotlight on Edward Burns

VOD Spotlight on William H. Macy

VOD Spotlight on Film Independent's Dawn Hudson

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