Despite well worn ground, it is responsible and realistic, with a very good performance from Lockie
A woman has a great home, lives in a Californian ideal of pool, 2 cars, 3 kids and, frankly, looks fantastic at the same time. However something is missing or wrong but she is not sure what. A phone call on her always-working-late husband's cell phone makes her doubt herself and, at a loose end she decides to head out and see if her husband is really working late at the office as he says. From here we pretty much know where the film is going because this is a story we have heard many times in many forms and it is a difficult one to tell in a way that does something different or offers the viewer a new reason to watch.
This film doesn't really do that in terms of coming up with something new or different, but instead it just focuses on telling it well and in doing so it makes a short film that seems a lot shorter than its runtime of 20 minutes. It opens with a storm that affects the family home and, gladly, does not labor this metaphor too much even it is does also use it at the beach as well to illustrate the family situation. Other than that we have the usual characters and situations – the difficult teen daughter, the boys absorbed in their games, the husband always working late and the wife stuck in the middle of this not sure who or what she is anymore. Like I said, there is not reinvention of the wheel or sudden revelation in the film, it is just that it is responsibly well delivered and feels very realistic.
The character of Lisa is the centre of it and it is her loss of self that is interested to me and made the film work. She is very well acted by Lockie, who isn't interested in big flamboyant gestures or melodrama but instead is true to the film as she feels realistic. Her sense of loss at what she is trying to do with her life is tangible – the beach scene is the best example but I believed her response to her discovery (confirmation) that all was not well with her husband – it wasn't about them, it was about her since their relationship was really the only thing she had giving her life a structure around things and people that she was unsure of as an unit. Lockie does this well. The kids are good too as they feel natural, while the husband played by Roberts does his thing well enough. The camera doesn't do anything showy but rather focuses on the characters and the home, staying close doing nothing to distract from that while also looking good at the same time.
It is not a film that will knock your socks off but it is an engaging and responsible one, done with a good touch and feel for the characters – something which Lockie benefits from and makes the most of.
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