Friday, July 31, 2015

ON THE HORIZON (2015) Fantasia 2015

Looking like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Taylor Johnson and Sandy Leddin play a pair of star crossed lovers  destined to collide and break apart.

Casey is a successful photographer doing his thing. When Ellisa, the love of his life calls saying she's just broken up with her boyfriend he heads off to get her. They head off into the desert and spend some time together. However as she always does, when things get too intense between then she bolts. He's left to pick up the pieces and we watch as their lives cross and rercoss again.

One of the best looking films of 2015 this film both thrilled me and annoyed me, to the result that a film with some of the best sequences in any film this year is very good instead of really great.

The things that bothered me about the film are few in number but they are there. First some of the performances are uneven. Its mostly confined to a couple of the secondary characters, but there is a time or two where Leddin is talking with someone other than Johnson and her line reading is off. Its not terrible but it breaks the spell. There are also a couple of shifts in the plot (I won't say what, lest I spoil anything) that feel more contrived to get things going in a certain direction.

On the other hand there are moments where things just soar. Johnson's Casey is an intense ball of emotion and he nails the unbridled passion for his lady love to the wall and then some. Its as good a performance in a film as I've seen all year.

The sequences set to music are awesome. The first eight minutes may very well be my favorite opening of any film all year. This is followed by other sequences that move the plot along wordlessly with just image and music. You feel the intensity between the characters greater because of it.

Actually the whole look of the film is stunning. This small independent film looks better and feels more real than most big budgeted Hollywood films. Watching the film on a small screen I ached to see this on a big screen-something truly huge where the desert and salt flats and fancy rooms could fill the screen and over power me.

This is a stunning little film. Its a film that I wasn't planning on seeing but the opportunity presented itself so I jumped, with the result is a film that is going to live on in my memory. Its a film thatI can recommend and press into people's hands. Is it perfect, not but what is there behind the bump is fantastic.

Highly recommended to anyone who wants to see a really good film.

The film world premieres tonight at Fantasia. For tickets and more information go here.

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