Scott McGehee and David Siegel (of What Masie Knew, another jewel of a film) have come up with another compelling family story adaptation (Mike Spreter the original author), this time centering on a brother-sister dynamic. Showing now at the Sarasota Film Festival, the film is definitely worth seeing (and if I could fit it in, seeing twice).
First there was masterful acting by all parties, from the minor roles, Gilbert Owuor as the Home Health Aide to name one, to the leads; Owen Teague (PLEASE let this be his emancipation from stupid horror flicks and NCIS: eye roll) is utterly mesmerizing. So amazing and believable as the younger brother harboring huge regret.
Haley Lu Richardson, who is so brilliant in her choice for QUALITY work. I’m sure she’s offered many lesser projects, yet review her IMDB and she holds out for the best written films (Columbus, After Yang, Edge of Seventeen). The woman is a surgeon, always playing a round faced beauty with a tinge of melancholia, but man, is she tremendous each time! This role may have made her stretch the most and she does so in lithe fashion.
Savages is a project that has stayed in my mind as realistic brother-sister relations (praise to Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman) and I’m sure Montana Story will stay with me, too. Montana Story does for car and truck driving scenes what Licorice Pizza did for rotary phones, capturing the intimacy that can occur as people reveal themselves while pressed together in commutes.
My only teeny tiny complaint is that the movie begged for a little more sound, yet I also totally understand and appreciate salvaging the quiet that must be part of Montana’s open land.
I voted for and hope Montana Story wins best film of the fest.