By admin | February 5, 2006

I love when supermarkets are given time in movies, when filmmakers smartly realize the benefits of drama among the aisles, especially since a supermarket is neutral territory for two characters, in this case Derrick (Bernard Gallagher), a white-haired man with much to tell, and the teenaged Suzanne (Natalia Rush), sent to help him as part of her community service. She tells him it was assault that got her into trouble, to sound tougher to him, but when she swipes one of his figurines, it was clearly for stealing. In fact, Derrick has a much tougher story which he treats nonchalantly, just telling his tale of 20 years in prison, easily compressed into a minute. Armed robbery, manslaughter, and it took him time to adjust when he got out of prison. Harmless, really. Suzanne can learn a few things about living late in life and it is debatable whether Derrick has anything to teach Suzanne. Perhaps he can lead her to a more pleasant demeanor, just taking life as it is, not getting into more trouble so life can be enjoyed more.

As filmmaker Daniel Outram and screenwriter Jack Thorne prove, some intentions aren’t the actual ones. Derrick and Suzanne are as different as that box of Frosties they pass by, which we know as Frosted Flakes here in the U.S. For Outram and these actors, it’s not simply a walk through the neighborhood to get to the supermarket and back. There are real intentions here and the result becomes what is most likable about Outram’s work. When the end is reached for these two, he presents us with something else that throws more light on what came before. Smart man, making sure his work is not quickly disposed. Besides that, it also works because of good performances between both actors that make great use of the tension between them, which gradually, ever so gradually, dissolves. It almost seems uncouth to use the word “synergy” without being part of a corporation, but that’s what Outram, Gallagher, and Rush have here, along with cinematography by Federico Alfonzo that never fails in making a neighborhood just as accessible to us as it is to Derrick and Suzanne.

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