June 25, 2015

Runoff (2014)

Runoff (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Kimberly Levin
Country: USA

Movie Review: First time director, Kimberley Levin, presents us a sensitive small-scale drama about a Kentucky farm family that keeps struggling with financial problems, questioning aspects such as human necessity and the morality of some decisions, also sparking impactful ecological considerations. Betty Freeman (Joanne Kelly) is a dedicated beekeeper and caring mother of two sons - the self-assured Finley, who keeps drawing quietly with the goal of attending an art school in New York, and little Sam, who likes to play with his friend near the river despite the warnings of his parents not to do so. She also maintains a stupendous relationship with her husband, Frank (Neal Huff), who administrates antibiotics to the animals in the nearest farms of the region. However, the business became slow due to the unmatchable fierce approach of a concurrent larger corporate named Giga, which gradually is leading the Freeman Farms and other similar small businesses into bankruptcy. In the imminence of losing their property and confronted with Frank’s deteriorating health condition, supposedly due to the use of chemicals, the couple will glimpse a way out when proposed an illegal business made by Scratch (Tom Bower), an old dairy farmer. Compellingly done, deeply felt, and consciously scary, “Runoff” could have put some more thrill in one or other scene. Regardless the quiet posture adopted, which enhances more the inner states of the characters rather than creates real tension, the film presents other aspects to be recognized, like the accomplished performances of Joanne Kelly, Neal Huff, and particularly the young Alex Shaffer as the eldest son, as well as Levin’s thorough filmmaking, so attractive for the eye. This is a promising, eye-opener debut.

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