I just saw "The Undeserved" at the Mill Valley Film Festival, its first screening, its world premiere. As I understand it, they were still wrapping up finishing editing touches only two days before it premiered. I gave it 6 out of 10 for a couple of reasons. First for the performance of Paul Sado, who channels Sean Penn circa 1984 -- very refreshing. The movie is set in a small town in Vermont and revolves around the lives of a small group of high-schoolers there. It was mostly improvised -- the actors repeatedly stated that the instruction was that the town itself was the script -- and it was shot sequentially, so the cast did not know the plot. Some stated that watching it with us at the premiere was the first time they actually learned the truth of what is arguably the most central point of the plot. This unique approach to a film at once made it interesting and uninteresting. Its interesting to see how a film made in that manner came out. Its uninteresting because each actor seemed too focused on his or her own character, own role, own performance, and none were able to actually interACT in a compelling manner, perhaps because they never knew exactly which emotional tone they were after in any given scene, perhaps for other reasons. This was something different than a lack of chemistry, which can occur with or without a script. The cast was, in fact, uniformly solid, but somehow unable to come together. The film, I believe, would have been better with a script and a plan, and a key death at a certain obvious time. It is, however, worth watching for the outstanding performances of the young(ish) and largely unknown cast, particularly Sado.
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A murder in a small town sets the stage for this highly improvised character driven film.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 22, 2022 at 11:37 PM