Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jumping Off Bridges

(2006, USA, 90m)
d/sc Kat Candler p Kat Candler, Lorie Marsh, Stacy Schoolfield ph Jim Eastburn ed Nevie Owens pd Lisa Laratta m Christopher Case cast Bryan Chafin, Michael Emerson, Glen Powell Jr, Katie Lemon, Savannah Welch, Michael D. Conway, Anne Nabors

A pleasant breather from the attention-seeking and self-conscious hipness of much independent cinema, Jumping Off Bridges is a gentle drama about coping with grief, and how to go on living beneath the twin shadows of guilt and self-accusation. Zak’s family harbour a secret hurt that has sent his mother into withdrawal, therapy and medication, and when a second tragedy occurs, he threatens to follow suit. The film wavers between measured thoughtfulness and off-handed detachment but the restrained approach is largely successful, allowing ample space to solid performances from local Austin talent and a handful of LA support (Emerson is particularly effective). The central metaphor is never laboured (the title is the favourite pastime of Zac and his friends) and if the script probes less deeply than it might, the honesty of intention before and behind the camera is enough to elicit sympathy and understanding.

© Time Out Film Guide

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