Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
One terrific film that went unnoticed
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes it doesn't take the big name Hollywood studio or the big name Hollywood star to make a very good movie. Such is the case with the movie "Cherish". "Cherish" is one of those films I happened to stumble on. I'd categorize "Cherish" as an "Indie" (independent) film. After watching the movie, I realized that this was one of the most entertaining movies I had seen in some time. In addition, the movie uncovers perhaps one of the best, yet unnoticed acting performances in recent years by Robin Tunney. I'm very surprised that Tunney did not go on to bigger and better things following "Cherish" because she delivers a performance that could have easily be Academy Award material.
In "Cherish", Tunney plays Zoe Adler. Zoe is someone who is basically socially inept and somewhat of an introvert. Zoe struggles with her lack of social skills both in the office (where she works as a computer animator) and in the social scene as well. She is also romanticist who loves 1970s and 1980s music and gets immersed in the songs of that era. Unknown to Zoe, she is being pursued and followed by a stalker (played by Brad Hunt) Zoe's life will change when the stalker finds Zoe going to her car to pick up her cell phone. The stalker takes Zoe hostage and forces her to drive. When a police officer discovers that something strange is going on in the car, the stalker takes control, runs down the police officer and kills him. Following the incident, the stalker leaves the scene and Zoe is left facing a homicide charge. While awaiting her trial, her lawyer arranges for Zoe to be put in the "Bracelet Program". This is a program that essentially places Zoe under house arrest and uses a bracelet to electronically track that Zoe stays indeed under house arrest. Once the house arrest begins, the story basically takes on three sub-plots:
1) The main subplot involves a transformation in Zoe's social ineptness. House Arrest places Zoe in an isolated mode where she is not allowed to leave her apartment. This forces Zoe to confront her introverted personality and a good chunk of the movie will focus on Zoe's attempts to break free of the bracelet program. This will result in a transformation from her socially inept personality to a bolder personality. This is where you will see Tunney shine. Tunney is completely believable in her portrayal of Zoe from beginning to end - from socially inept, through her transformation, to eventually demonstrating a bold personality.
2) The second subplot involves Zoe's relationship with police officer Bill Daly played by Tim Blake Nelson. Daly plays the officer responsible for monitoring Zoe in the bracelet program. To some extent, Daly also suffers from social ineptitude. At first Daly is frustrated by Zoe - in particular because she is trying to break free of the bracelet program. This results in Daly putting stiffer restrictions on Zoe in the program. However as the story unfolds, Daly eventually takes a liking to Zoe and develops feelings for her. Nelson does an admirable job playing Daly, but his performance is not as strong as Tunney's.
3) The third subplot involves Zoe's attempt to find out who framed her for the murder. This wraps around the other two subplots in that Zoe eventually finds an ally in Bill Daly while at the same time takes bold steps to prove her innocence. In a way, this completes Zoe's transformation from being a socially inept person. It is this subplot where the film reaches an exciting climax.
There are really two elements that contribute to this film - both audibly and visually. Director Finn Taylor deserves a lot of credit for integrating these elements into the film. From an audio standpoint, this film uses music perhaps as good as any film I have seen. The music will grip you and match up perfectly to the scenes. Perhaps the best example of this is when Zoe calls her missing cell phone and gets the stalker. The stalker responds by putting on the stereo and blasting Daryl Hall and John Oates' "Private Eyes" into the phone. The opening sequence (to the song "Cherish") is another good example of how music is integrated with a scene. From a video standpoint, one thing that really shines out is the setting for where Zoe is under house arrest. Zoe is confined to a large warehouse style apartment in a seedy part of San Francisco. The large warehouse apartment is the perfect setting for Zoe to battle her isolation for being under house arrest. Not only does the seedy section of San Francisco provide a great backdrop to the story, but the whole city provides one as well. Perhaps one of the best scenes of the movie is when Zoe "escapes" from her apartment to try to prove her innocence. There is a terrific scene of Zoe running through the streets of San Francisco to get back to her apartment before the bracelet monitoring catches her.
There are two "larger" name performers who have small roles in the movie. Jason Priestly has a very small role as Andrew, a man who Zoe takes an interest in. Pop singer, Liz Phair makes her film debut as Brynn - a woman who works in Zoe's office. However there is one other performance that stands out - Ricardo Gil. Gil plays Max - a disabled dwarf who lives downstairs in the same building as Zoe and befriends her. While Zoe can't go downstairs from her apartment, Max's disability prevents him from going up to see her - yet the two strike up a friendship.
This movie was released in 2002 and both the film and Tunney's performance went largely unnoticed in many circles. I've heard some complaints about the ending, yet I was satisfied with how the film wrapped up. This is a very good movie - and one that you certainly will watch multiple times."