Opening 14 Sep 2017
Writing credits: Larry Gross, Gabe Klinger
Principal actors: Anton Yelchin, Lucie Lucas, Paulo Calatré, Françoise Lebrun
First encounter: accidental. Second: coincidental. Third: fate. That neither Jake (Yelchin) nor Mati (Lucas) feel they can control. Shared confidences, carnal pleasure, and declarations of love carry them through a night in their adopted city of Porto, Portugal. Nevertheless, Mati stays her course. Life continues, albeit both recall the attraction.
Writer-director Gabe Klinger’s story is bare bones. Though his first feature film, by thirty-five one would think Klinger had more interesting life experiences to utilize, incorporate. The lead characters are unlikable: Jake is under-motivated, controlling, a snoop and stalker, while Mati is dissatisfied, self-focused and likes being crazy. Although briefly onscreen, Calatré as Mati’s older husband, and the veteran Lebrun as mother are far more compelling. Gabe Klinger and Géraldine Mangenot’s editing releases salient bits of information like a slow drip, albeit with some congestion. But then, creatively original well-placed nominal music that unfortunately is not credited anywhere other than in the film’s end credits, and Wyatt Garfield’s cinematographic choices plus shooting on celluloid makes Porto palpable. Befuddling is why Jim Jarmusch decided to be executive producer. Maybe he sees something we will when Klinger has more experience and a solid storyline. (Marinell Haegelin)