LOLA Image


By Chris Gore | January 16, 2002

“I don’t know what I’m doing here,” Lola says to her therapist. Upon examining her life, Lola (Sabrina Grdevich) discovers no real issues, no problems, nothing wrong, in fact, no identity. Lola is lost and only defines herself by her relationship with Mike (Colm Feore), a restaurant owner who grows increasingly frustrated with her attempts at finding some path for herself.
Lola’s life takes a turn when she meets Sandra (Joanna Going), a blonde-wigged free spirit. Sandra has her own issues with an abusive father who has just died and a family she hasn’t seen in almost 20 years. Sandra’s quest will take her back home to see her mother for a possible reconciliation. This is more than the nowhere life Lola has been leading and she finds herself intrigued. When tragedy strikes Sandra, the blonde wig becomes a way for Lola to gain a life of her own by becoming Sandra and leaving Mike for good this time. Lola then picks up where Sandra left off in her journey to reconcile with her family.
This Cassavettes-inspired tale of identity reversal comes from Canadian filmmaker Carl Bessai; whose first feature “Johnny” won a jury prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Stylistically, we’re introduced to Lola’s disjointed life in conversations seen in jump cut. As she comes into her own, the images hold and become calm as layers to Lola’s new identity reveal themselves. Both Sabrina Grdevich and Joanna Going turn in subtle and sexy performances as victims of their own lives. Lola’s triumph to gain some sense of identity, even if it is not her own, is an indie film discovery worthy of attention.

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