FOURTEEN

FOURTEEN

(director/writer/editor: Dan Sallitt; cinematographer: Christopher Messina; cast: Tallie Medel (Mara), Norma Kuhling (Jo Mitchel), C. Mason Wells (Adam), Dylan McCormick (Conor), Kolyn Brown(Leah); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: Nr; producers: Caitlin Mae Burke, Graham Swon; Static Productions; 2019-Germany-in English)

“An affecting portrait of female friendship and how it changes over the years.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The director, writer and editor Dan Sallitt (“The Unspeakable Act“/”All The Ships At Sea”) is the former Los Angeles Reader film critic. His low-budget modest arthouse film, heavy on rich dialogue, is an affecting portrait of female friendship and how it changes over the years.

The character-driven drama focuses on the repressed leads leading mundane lives and maintaining a friendship as long as they possibly can find a reason to, as the more stable one over time begins to realize too much is being sucked out of her by someone who might be more damaged goods than she realized.The young adults Mara (Tallie Medel) and Jo (Norma Kuhling) have been best friends since they were fourteen. The reliable Mara is an aspiring writer who works days as a school aide and in the evening tutors kids in need. Jo is a depressive wreck and is unreliable, working as a social worker (frequently fired) and dependent on her friend for emotional support. The most stable thing in their lives is their friendship. We observe how sincere is their friendship and eavesdrop on their boyfriends, jobs, and Brooklyn apartments, until their relationship starts to come apart.

It results in a quiet subversive film about a modern-day friendship between two women that dissipates just as easily as it began. The excellent performances make this poignant observational film a standout in relationship genre films that seems genuine and not sugar-coated.

REVIEWED ON 2/1/2019 GRADE: B  https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/

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