After a mysterious absence Joe returns home to find his wife has taken in a lodger.
Written By: Chris Purnell
Directed By: Grant McPhee
The formula the could have worked for the Indie feature Sarah's Room was also the formula that hurt it the most. What most of us call the slow build up to a "worth the wait' ending was adopted by director Grant McPhee without the success he might have hoped. Sometimes, a simple approach to Indie film making can be a virtue, and a "straight at it" style can at times do wonders. Sarah's Room is full of stylistic shots, colors and even editing. It has a well written script and a well thought out premise. It's the pacing that's a little off and this really stops this film from being truly great. Does that mean it's a bad film or one to avoid? No way! The very same artistic "Coolery" and use of color that I complained about above is the same stylistic approach that makes it an above average film, and one to sit back with for an hour and a half.
Sarah's Room features some solid acting from the main cast, especially the lead Patrick O'Brien as Joe. Patrick has the great ability to convey emotion with just a look, and uses it well here. Playing his wife, Kitty Colquhoun doesn't appear to be a stranger to acting either. Masterfully playing off Patrick in a seemingly effortless fashion. Overall, the cast portrayals are pretty spot on and credit must be given to whomever cast the talent into their respective roles. Excellent job!
Doubling as both the Cinematographer and the Director, Grant McPhee nails some pretty cool shots and clearly has an eye for details, and the ability to pull it all together. The same can be said for the editor of Sarah's Room. This flick features some slick and stylistic editing that really pulls the string tight during the film. After thinking about it a little- I came to the conclusion that the post production work was all handled very well. From the editing right through to the cool use of colors in the film.
The place Sarah's Room looses marks really does come down to the pacing of the film. It's a strange thing considering it appears to be a well written script, and everything else seems done right. To be blunt... It's just to slow moving and the wait for the climax is just too long! I actually feel like this should have been a short film, but it was extended simply so it could be classified as a feature length production. That's the only real complaint here. The problem here is that it's a big complaint.
Overall we have a good film that I was glad to have watched. There's enough style and good performances to keep you glued to your screen. The small failings that are present literally scream inexperience, not bad content. What this film also screams is talent. Give these guys a little money and some more practice and the world can and maybe will be their oyster. Sarah's Room is quite literally a film to watch and muse over... as you wait for their next production.
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