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Friday, June 06, 2014

SIFF Sighting: ALEX OF VENICE (Drama; USA)

Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and George (Chris Messina, who also directed the film) aren't communicating. Alex is pursuing a busy legal career; George is exhausted of playing Mr. Mom.

So George leaves.

In addition to their 10-year-old son, Alex cares for her aging, live-in father (Don Johnson) who has a drug habit and a fading acting career. She doesn't have time to be abandonded.

As she desperately tries to continue business-as-usual despite the world collapsing around her, she realizes that there is more to life. Before she can truly pick up the pieces, she has to examine what's broken and most importantly—what's worth fixing.

Winstead is fantastic as the troubled Alex and each supporting cast member does their part to match her element of chaos, if only to emphasize how much she's trying to ignore.

Especially great is Don Johnson who is obnoxious and sympathetic all at once.

The backdrop of Venice, California serves as the only character of complete calm here, making its presence known with sandy beaches and neon lights illuminating the boardwalk.

Messina has created a relatable film that somehow manages to mix heartbreak with hope.

ALEX OF VENICE screened at the 40th Annual Seattle International Film Festival.


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