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They say the darkest hour is just before dawn, and at the Sunrise diner it's very late indeed. Four couples find themselves at an out-of-the-way 24-hour diner, but they are not all that they seem. Intertwined throughout the night are a middle age couple who are at a crisis in their lives, a cook who thinks he is finally finding his way forward, a waitress in a bad relationship and a young punk and his girlfriend who think this is the last stop before the new world of imagined ease. But the strangest of all are the dark stranger and young girl who don't seem to be part of this world. A film about dreams gone bad, missed opportunities, love, fear and death.Written by
Gayle Gallagher (producer)
Clocking in at a brief 78 minutes, 23 Minutes to Sunrise is hard to classify in terms of specific genre. It contains elements of drama, suspense, horror, and even war, as it tells the tale of the two employees and six customers of the Sunrise Diner. Although it is Eddie that is the main protagonist in the film, it is through Sheila, the diner's waitress, that we see the main interactions of the film. The moments shared between she and Eddie prove to be the strongest in the movie.
Recently returned from his second tour of Iraq and Afghanistan, Eddie is trying to piece his life together and find out what direction he wants it to take. Sheila and Eddie bond over their many late nights working together at the diner, and a deep friendship develops. But when a familiar face from his days at war shows up to the diner, all hell will break loose.
23 Minutes to Sunrise is a very engaging and interesting film that is allows for the viewer to think deeply about the past, the future, and their own view on eternal life. Adding to that is the interesting cinematography of the piece and excellent performances. Each of the actors, with perhaps a couple exceptions, brings great depth to their characters, even with a small amount of screen time.
This all makes the film sound very serious, but in fact, it is also very entertaining. Eric Robert's performance as Daniel is incredibly fun to watch. But it is Jilanne Klaus' Sheila that is the driving force of the film. She is the one figure that connects all of the characters together, allowing for both intense and intimate moments to be shared on screen.
If you are in the mood for a thriller that is a bit deeper than the usual heist film, 23 Minutes to Sunrise is one that you will want to check out. Both enjoyable and thought-provoking, it is one to look out for.
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