She’s the Eldest Image

She’s the Eldest

By Alan Ng | May 22, 2020

I’m not so sure drama is the right category for She’s the Eldest. There’s a quirky story Leanne tells Jamie’s friend about a girl who tore her family apart because she wanted a Corgi as a pet, while her father was intensely Corgi-phobic. That story proves quite the metaphor for the movie’s plot.

Look, I’ll be brutally honest: there are quite a few problems with She’s the Eldest, particularly its genre-twist at the end that only reinforces the film’s quirkiness. This twist comes out of the blue, and though clues were dropped along the way leading to it. This swerve will turn some audience members off because it “feels” misplaced.

“…to present the film in black and white as it makes the imagery and composition pop visually…”

The film also suffers from things that could have been fixed with a larger budget. The visuals are not as sharp as they could have been, nor is the sound design all that great. That said, it was smart for director/writer/star Cate Jones to present the film in black and white as it makes the imagery and composition pop visually, particularly when you have no budget for expensive lights and color correction.

Here’s my issue with the film’s conclusion. It’s so out there that it envelopes the emotional core of the story. The emotional currency that the film builds up to dissipates with an ending that is unnecessary and forced.

I bring up the film’s negatives only because there’s a lot you, as a viewer, must give up in comparison to big studio film quality to make it through the entire film. But this is independent filmmaking and is why you’re reading this review on Film Threat. Cate Jones has a story to tell, and she made her movie with the resources available to her and her crew. Her story of siblings is heartfelt and genuinely captures their dysfunctional turmoil. In the end, She’s the Eldest is one of those imperfect low-budget indie films that are worth giving a chance.

She's the Eldest (2020)

Directed and Written: Cate Jones

Starring: Cate Jones, Mary Buss, Mickey Reece, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

She's the Eldest Image

"…Jones has a story to tell, and she made her movie with the resources available to her…"

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