Saturday, March 17, 2018

SXSW with Abe: Friday’s Child

I’m so excited to be attending the film festival at South by Southwest for the first time, and I’ll be posting reviews throughout the week as I see as many movies as possible!

Friday’s Child
Directed by A.J. Edwards

It’s not easy to escape one’s circumstances, and there’s a reason that many criminals released from prison end up getting arrested and incarcerated again. Cycles tend to occur that those caught within are unable to break, and not being set up for success will most directly lead to people not succeeding. Repeated disciplinary issues during childhood predispose someone towards breaking the law, and the way in which they’re treated by those who could give them a chance that might send them in another direction very often push them straight back into the same tendencies which will forever ground them in the same lifestyle, unable to quit and make an honest go of it.

Tye Sheridan stars in the film

Richie (Tye Sheridan) turns eighteen and opts to live alone after foster care, renting a small home with the bare basics. When his landlord (Brett Butler) is murdered during a burglary, Richie is questioned by the police and thinks of leaving town, but stays when he finds Joan (Imogen Poots) clearly upset and unable to drive her car home. The two begin to build a relationship based on being there for each other without asking too many questions about what they’re going through. Richie starts to see the possibility of a bright future ahead, though he’s dragged down by his affiliation with a neighbor (Caleb Landry Jones) prone to criminal activity.

Director A.J. Edwards discusses the film

Director A.J. Edwards’ first film, “The Better Angels,” which played at Sundance in 2014, bears a lot of similarities to this one despite that film taking place during Abraham Lincoln’s childhood and being in black-and-white. Close-ups of characters’ faces are featured extensively, and it will come as no surprise that Terrence Malick was an obvious influence for Edwards since he served as editor for two of the notoriously indulgent filmmaker’s recent films. While the facial expressions of its protagonists get prime treatment, who these characters actually are is never really explored, making for an unfulfilling and seemingly pointless experience in which they wander through the story without really being developed.

Star Caleb Landry Jones discusses the film

Sheridan, who stars in Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming action movies “Ready Player One,” has a great history of independent films over the past few years, and he does his best with meager material here, as does Poots, who has similarly appeared in strong festival films and displayed great promise. Jones, as usual, is unhinged and unpredictable, sticking to his odd typecasting of being eccentric and volatile. The script doesn’t give much insight into its characters, and this film proves to be less than memorable as a result.


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