Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lorelei - Reel Love Film Fest Movie Review

The Movie: Lorelei

The Director: Sabrina Doyle

The Cast: Pablo Schreiber, Jena Malone, Gretchen Corbett 

The Story: A working-class fable about a biker, a mermaid and three shades of blue.

The Review:
I'm always going to be a fan of movies that dig deep into human stories and look at people who can easily be stereotyped for one reason or another. This movie takes a look at an ex con and a single mom of three kids and the struggles they face both as individuals and also as a couple complete with all of the emotional and mental turmoil you might expect. Director Sabrina Doyle really allows you to get to know the characters which helps to be empathetic towards them even when they are not making what we feel might be the best decisions. There's an understanding that circumstances both societal and financial can cause limitations on what is possible for a person, especially when pushed to the extreme.

One of the things I love about this movie is that it is mostly set and filmed in Oregon which I feel like is an underused state for movies and storytelling. I live in Washington so it's great to see any type of storytelling from the northwest corner of the country. Also, this isn't the typical travelogue glossy type film that shows off the standard stuff you always see, Doyle goes deep into the small town vibe with lots of grit and texture and an aesthetic that isn't afraid to be rough around the edges. I think this also allows the actors to really dig into their performances in a very authentic way.

When I first saw that Pablo Schreiber is playing a man who has just gotten out of prison, I was like okay that makes sense, I last saw him as a high stakes bank robber in Den of Thieves but then he goes and gives a performance that really humanizes the character and I actually felt like I related to him in ways that I wasn't expecting. I guess I'm just used to seeing Schreiber in movies with lots of guns and explosions and it was nice to really see a strong yet subtle and very quiet performance. Also of note to keep the northwest theme going, Schreiber grew up in BC and spent his high school days in Seattle so yeah, shout out to the local boy making it big.

Can you believe Jena Malone has been in this game since the late 90's? If you didn't know, she played the young version of Jodie Foster's Ellie in Contact way back in 1997 and I feel like her career is still just getting started. Seeing her take on a role like this really great and i was happy to see her knock it out of the park. Dolores has a heck of a lot going on both in and outside of her head and this gives Malone a lot of room to stretch out and make the character as real as possible while still allowing her to be a little bit extra in a lot of different ways. Just like Schreiber's character Wayland, you really get to know Dolores and I could understand what she was doing and why even if it wasn't always the best or smartest of options.

What really comes through when this movie is all said and done is that love is there and available even when the circumstances aren't ideal and people should be allowed to live their lives even if they have made mistakes and bad decisions in their past. I mean, none of us are perfect so it would be nice if we didn't judge people or put them in boxes because we don't know where they've been or what got them to where they are in life.

The Verdict:
Lorelei is one of those movies that sneaks up on you with emotionally powerful performances and a relatable story that steers far away from any type of Hollywood story telling or fairy tale endings. This is the content I look for when I cover film festivals and I am glad to have had a chance to check it out.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Reel Love 2021.

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