**SIGH** Ever have one of those times where you decide to take a chance on something and it just doesn’t work out? At ALL! Of course, we all have at one point or another…probably multiple times as well. And those of us who really love to watch films can relate to this, as there are those movies we THINK might have potential….and then they aren’t worth the time (and $$) we spent on them. Sadly, I got to experience this with the most recent indie film I decided to try out via On Demand, “The Wait”, which was another that got released the end of January this year, but never made it to my local cinemas.
Now, the basic premise did not initially attract me at ALL, but it was more the two main actresses IN the film that had me curious, even though I have not overall seen a LOT of their individual films either. Directed by M. Blash (yeah, I know…WHO??), having had only ONE other directing gig under his belt in the 2006 indie “Lying” (yeah, I know…WHICH film was THAT, again?? Though, funny enough, done with the same two actresses as this one!), this story starts out in sadness, as we see the woodlands of Oregon home of two sisters, Angela (Jena Malone) and the elder sibling Emma (Chloe Sevigny) dealing with the death of their mother, whose body is still in the bedroom where she’s apparently just passed on. We also see an initial glimpse of their younger brother Ian (Devon Gearhart) standing outside of the home staring INSIDE, yet seemingly totally unaware of his surroundings. A ringing phone shakes Emma out of her teary haze, and upon answering it, is treated to a woman’s voice who starts stating random things about Emma, to her initial disbelief, but also seems to indicate something ELSE (though in a vague way, I thought, to say the least)…..that her deceased mother will return! Emma, suddenly deciding that this vague message is real and something to get excited about, tells Angela about it, who promptly thinks Emma is Coco Puffs-level crazy, trying to just make the arrangements to have the body removed and a funeral taken care of. But sticking to what she believes WILL BE the resurrection of her Mom, Emma forces Angela to accept KEEPING their mother’s body IN THE HOUSE and to wait until she comes back to them.
The film then sinks FARTHER (is this possible, you ask? YES!) into this altered state of being, as Emma continues to try and deal with KEEPING her belief going, all the while slowly losing control of her own sense of reality and becoming more and more reclusive despite actually attempting to put on this happy face. Angela, who only wants to get the body OUT of the house and a funeral arranged, retreats into herself as well, still attempting to make sense of her sister’s choice while also trying to settle into it and be somewhat normal (though even this is anything BUT that). Her overall position about life and the situation suddenly changes when she meets a neighbor boy, Ben (Luke Grimes), with whom she ends up falling in love with, and hence THEN realizes that anything could be possible and starts believing in the chances of her Mom’s resurrection as well. Ian, meanwhile, simply sinks into a manic state of disconnection with the world around him, at least from a SANE perspective, as he’s dealing with his own proclivities, his obsession with a local girl, and a not-so-great need to watch some very disturbing videos randomly on computers that he finds entertaining. And add to ALL of THIS…Emma’s young daughter, Karen (Lana Elizabeth Green), ends up dragged into this insanity by Emma who’s in NO place to be minding her impressionable child, and ultimately brings her ex, Henry (Henry Gummer) into the picture and THAT is REALLY where things get awkward when he starts inquiring about his mother-in-law and is wanting to see her, not REMOTELY knowing what has been going on. And as it all falls apart, the BIG kicker is introduced that puts Emma’s ENTIRE choice from the beginning into a surreal tailspin. I GUESS there was SUPPOSED to be this sense of…..release….from the revelation we’re provided, but I was so freaked out by the film at this point (much less a TOTALLY bizarre ending sequence), that I just sat there in a confused daze.
I mean….WOW. And as confused as that review above may be to you, THAT is HOW I felt viewing it. Despite the premise of the film, which now you see was SO messed up and really should have warned me off at just that, I thought that having an Academy Award nominee in Chloe Sevigny and a Golden Globe nominee in Jena Malone would somehow find a way to elevate the story. I mean, to a CERTAIN point it did, but the whole thing is such a bleak mess, that I don’t think it would have mattered regardless of WHO was in the roles. I suppose you COULD say it took amazing actresses to pull off this level of insanity and make it TRULY insane to watch and even SAY the film was GOOD. Needless to say, BOTH actresses have done MUCH better work (watch “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” for some great work by Malone by the way) and I thought this was just wasted talent. But, experiences like this are going to happen sometimes, and not EVERY film I choose to see is going to be a winner, as much as I wish I COULD say that! This particular film……I say SKIP IT.
But, as always, this is all for YOUR consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!