William Wayne, Jen Zias
Wow. This was one messed up film, crazy film. The way it's put together. The way it's acted and the way it plays. In all the best possible ways. Welcome to Los Angeles - where the rich eat caviar, the stars all sparkle and a snake lives in every home. This is where Jake dreams of writing a major motion picture, and Angela dreams of starring in one. When these two meet and hook up, it sparks Jake's creative juices - and he does just what he's always dreamed of doing. Writes a stellar script and with the help of the crazy, eccentric director/producer Walt Warshaw, creates a brilliant film starring Angela - of course. It wasn't as easy as it sounds, as this film demonstrates... but you get the idea.
However, as is often the case, the audience isn't coming. Even with some stellar reviews from the critics, and a nomination for Angela herself, nobody seems interested in actually watching this movie. Until that is, a publicity stunt is put into motion. To have Angela vanish, much the same way as the namesake of the movie she stars in. Can you imagine the press? And guess what? It works like a charm. Until that is, Angela doesn't reappear in real life. Her Mafia connected father begins looking for her. The police are looking for her, the press is looking - and caught at the center of it all? Jake. The man responsible for both the script and Angela's casting. Directly. Did I mention he suffers from schizophrenia? All these ingredients come together using flashbacks, present time and hallucinations. All to find out one thing. What happened to Angela Rose? Is she hiding? Did Jake go all the way off the deep end and kill her? Or maybe it was Walt? One thing's for sure. "Lost Angelas" knows how to keep you watching, wondering and questioning. Until the bitter end.
So let me put this out there. This is a complex film. Hell, it's even confusing - and that's by design. Although the script itself is complex, it's not what most would consider terribly hard to follow. Until that is, you add Jake's mental state into the mix. This is all captured in the film via hallucinations. If that were not enough? Consider the back and forth of the edit, and the crazy transitions that are all then added - and shaken vigorously. What you end up with is a highly stylized flick that is, quite literally... trippy to watch. The best part for me? I couldn't pull my eyes away. The angles, lighting and obviously editing are all meant to create this feeling of vertigo. Possibly to resemble Jake's personal view of things. I've seen so many excellent ways to put together a film, and for me, "Lost Angelas" is among the strangest - most successful ways to pull it off. No question.
Wayne's film also has a very large cast. So individual shout-outs are out of the question. Obviously, the leading characters are all played excellently. If not, this movie simply wouldn't work. But "Lost Angelas" has something else going for it. An excellent supporting cast. Often overlooked, the supporting actors and extras can easily ruin the feel of a film. Not here. Not in this movie. I have absolutely zero complaints and only praises for the actors involved. Bravo.
I also feel the need to bring up the situational atmosphere in this flick. With all the hoopla surrounding the film industry lately, many are shying away from the happenings of major productions. Attempting to minimize the damage done already in real life. Not here. "Lost Angelas" embraces the seedy, slimy nature of the business. It showcases how many people, believe things really are - and always have been. Movie making is not for the faint of heart, not when on this particular level of things. I don't praise the actions of industry big-wigs in general, but I know do this. People are people. People will do what ever it takes to get what they want, if they're hungry enough. And industry big-wigs are people as well. Willing to exploit what they can to satisfy their needs. Has it ever been any different? In any industry? I think not. I also think this shady aspect adds some realism to an otherwise crazy film. Some depth.
When the credits roll and it's all said and done, this was a great idea for a film - presented in a crazy experimental way. An interesting and very entertaining way I should add. It would not surprise me at all if some time down the road, "Lost Angelas" becomes somewhat of a cult favorite. All the elements are here. Perhaps not one hundred percent perfect, but still a damn fine movie - and completely worthy of a four star rating. In my humble opinion that is.