Thursday, 16 June 2011

Oliver Sherman

Year: 2010
Director: Ryan Redford
Screenplay: Ryan Redford, based on the short story "Veterans" by Rachel Ingalls
Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Donal Logue, Molly Parker, Kaelan Meunier
Running Time: 82 minutes
Genre: Drama

Summary: Lonely veteran Sherman Oliver (Dillahunt)travels to a small rural town to reconnect with his old Army friend Franklin Page (Logue). Seven years earlier Page saved Oliver's life in a war, an incident which left Oliver with shards of metal froma bullet still embedded in his head and Page missing part of a finger.
Page is now married to Irene (Parker), has a good job in a local mill and has a four year old son, Jacob (Meunier), and a baby girl, and seems toi have successfully put the war behind him. By contrast Oliver is a drifter and appears to have no family or permanent residence.
Page takes pity on him and allows Oliver to stay with him and his family. However Oliver's strange, taciturn mannerisms, rough way of speaking, heavy drinking and obsession with war and violence quickly begin to disturb Irene. On Oliver's part the difference in fortune between him and Page begins to cause resentment.

Opinions: This low-budget independent film from Canada is a powerful and bleak thriller, which deals with the themes of human compassion and also the cpapacity for violence. The film moves at a slow pace and focuses much more on character than incident. The acting is uniformly excellent form a largely little known cast. The basic storyline is not particularly original, but then it's not about the story, it is about mood and camera.
The film is well photographed and makes great use of the wintery landscapes, and strikingly composed images. The main problem with the film is that some of the dialogue sounds quite "stagey".
Despite the brief running time, the film does demand patience from the viewer due to the fact that not much really happens throughout the course of the film. However, the power of the film lies in the knowledge that at some point Oliver will snap.
This is a disturbing film which leaves a strong impression.

Donal Logue and Garret Dillahunt in Oliver Sherman

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