This little indie film from writer-director Sabrina Doyle is one of the most resonant, surprising films to come out in 2021.
Doyle infuses this film with a quiet beauty that absolutely envelopes the film, even when it threatens to push into melodrama territory.
We open on grizzled Wayland coming out of prison. His first night free after a 15-year stint, he goes out partying with his rough-and-tumble biker friends, and tries to let loose.
But his worn-down sentiment shows on his face, and as he drops down on the rental bed he has from a hard-nosed Pastor Gail, you can see the toll those years took on him.
The ex-con takes a construction job and tries to make ends meet, realizing making a straight living is a whole lot harder than his former criminal lifestyle. But when he sees old flame Dolores, a fire is ignited in his soul again.
Lovers Dolores and Wayland begin an affair – with her three kids in tow – that pushes them both to the brink as they try to make ends meet. But Wayland – and those around him – wonder how long he can stay on the straight and narrow with troubled Dolores in tow.
Jena Malone and Pablo Schreiber, who are two of the most underrated actors working, make an unbelievable tandem here. The two infuse this film with invigorating turns, and elevate Doyle’s material to new heights.
This is one of the most surprising and deeply touching films I’ve seen since the pandemic started, and if you’re patient, they payoff is huge.