Based on a true story, it follows Victoria as she matures from a spoiled privileged young girl to a woman who follows her heart. As she chooses her future, her life shatters in a tragic and unexpected way.
Written By: Goldie Smitlener
Directed By: John Banovich
To write that I'm not a huge romance fan would be a massive understatement, yet watching "Stolen Path" was not, surprisingly hard to accomplish. Generally, if I happen to get a straight up movie of this genre it's literally like pulling teeth to get through it. Then, I have serious issues staying objective. Here though, I found it really easy getting lost in the world that Goldie Smitlener has penned out for me. "Stolen Path" may not be the next Terminator movie, but it doesn't claim to be... or need to be. What we do have here is one hell of a well put together film. Charming and entertaining, yet so seemingly familiar for a film set so long ago. I was pleasantly surprised and maybe... just maybe I'll be a little easier on future movies in this genre. Or maybe a little less, since I've seen how it should be done.
There is no doubt this is a beautifully shot film, but the cinematography only makes up half the visual beauty. Costuming, props and the rich locations all do their part making "Stolen Path" very easy on the eyes. Some simple yet polished editing, and an excellent job in post add the icing on the already delicious cake. Really, there's not much of an "indie film" footprint throughout the entire movie. Not much... which brings me to some of the audio. For the most part, we are treated to a solid dialog track. A few spots do exist however, where the audio seems to fail on some small levels. Volume and clarity all take a hit at times and I was left wondering what happened? For a movie that looks so good, and with 90% of the audio being excellent, what happened during these few instances and why were they not fixed? My other audio related pet-peeve was the overall scoring of the film. I'm not saying it was bad, it was actually pretty damn great... just... why so much? I kept going back and forth with my thoughts on this subject. In hindsight, I can't imagine "Stolen Path" without all the scoring; at the same time however, I've always felt that the scoring should compliment a film, not attempt to become the on-screen action. Very few scenes in this movie contain no scoring and since this is not a music video, I kept asking why? As I wrote above however, it was all done well. In fact, very well. So for me it's really hard to tell if I liked it or not. I suppose since it did fit in well with the movie, and I was entertained throughout, that it was actually a good thing. I just wonder what some scenes would have been like without the symphonic story-teller in the background. Finally, I would like to touch on the large cast themselves. For most of the film the actors do a great job in their respective roles. Times do exist however, when the dialog felt hollow or scripted. It may just be the attempt to add an "old-school" flare into the lines; on a few occasions though, it just felt... off. Don't get me wrong, the majority was well acted and pretty darn convincing. Just a few B moments seemed to stick with me.
"Stolen Path" is one of those sad, happy, sad again films that will find it's audience with genre lovers young and older. It has a quality and charm to it that will easily entertain almost anyone. Even if they won't admit it. For 97 minutes I was taken back many decades and found a solid, entertaining film that my wife would love. At least, that's the excuse I would make to friends as they pointed it out on my movie shelf.
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