This review was originally published on January 3, 2013…
District Attorney Graham Seifert (Dominik Teifenthaler) is on the verge of his biggest case to date; a case so big, the man he’s investigating (Christopher Shyer), who also plans on running for Governor, wants Graham to instead join him in his campaign as his lieutenant governor. Part of it is to get the case to go away, and the other part is a recognition of the power Graham has acquired, and the ambition that may reside alongside it.
At the same time, Graham’s best friend and fellow prosecuting attorney, Evan (Paul Lange), is dealing with a rough patch in his marriage. Keeping up with the ambitious Graham, and helping him ascend, has left Evan little time for his family, and his wife has had enough. Complicating things further is a phone call to Graham’s office from an old friend of Graham and Evan’s, Russ (Michael Wolfe), who has recently gotten into some legal trouble and may finally speak out on a secret from the trio’s past. A drug-addicted, angry mess of a human, Russ has never recovered from an incident he took the wrap for years ago, even though he only did it to protect his friends.
With the decision on whether to run as lieutenant governor, and drop the case, ahead of him, Graham instructs Evan to get Russ out of trouble with the court, and then get him to Graham’s beach house, where the three can finally put their past behind them (and Graham can hopefully convince Russ not to become the vocal skeleton in the closet that could ruin his plans). Evan does as instructed, and Russ reluctantly accepts the invitation to the weekend with his former friends, where all sorts of secrets and betrayals are finally addressed as the three hash out where their lives have ended up as a result of one tragedy so many years ago.
Maybe Tomorrow is a study of morality, friendship, ambition and salvation. A strong story and good-looking visuals are only enhanced by the performances contained within, which manage to take what could’ve been a melodramatic train wreck and instead deliver something emotional and memorable instead.
While all the actors in the film hold their own, this film lives and dies by the performance of writer-director Michael Wolfe as Russ. His emotional range is what keeps the film dynamic; in comparison Dominik Teifenthaler’s Graham is almost robotic, and Paul Lange’s Evan almost too sensitive and wishy-washy, putting Graham first over even his own, and his family’s, best interests. Still, that’s not a criticism of the other actors so much as a recognition of the design behind the performances.
It’s not enough that Russ and Graham’s lives have gone so far in opposite directions, their emotional demeanors are equally polarized. And just as Evan’s role is often that of mediator or problem solver, so too does his emotional range fall in-between the two extremes. Hell, even the clothing choices lock the characters into their personal, relational dynamics. It’s impressive in design and execution; could’ve been too on-the-nose, but doesn’t play that way.
On the technical side of things, the film is strong. I can’t think of any imagery or composition that stood out as particularly memorable, but likewise can’t think of any that stood out for the negative; just a well-shot and composed film. Many films nowadays rely on better, and more affordable, camera equipment to do much of the work of making the visuals nice, but you can tell when someone who knows how to truly utilize the equipment is in control, as is the case here.
Maybe Tomorrow is an incredibly powerful film, with one particularly strong and charismatic performance by Michael Wolfe. If you’re into films where the performances carry the day, and can appreciate a story that manages to nuance three very different lifelines through their arcs properly, then check this one out.
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