The journey is more important than the end
Richard Veysey | Lamoine, ME | 01/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is... different, but in a good way. Unlike most Hollywood movies these days, Away (A)wake is thought provoking to the extreme, and full of ideas that most directors and filmmakers would stay far away from.
The movie opens with a 70-year-old teacher returning home to find a letter that informs her that her husband of 30 years has left her. Thus begins her journey of self-discovery, one of the four presented in the film. Larsen, who is a student in the old woman's class, finds himself in deep trouble with the principal after he somehow makes a picture of himself making out with another boy public, after which the picture and story of the boy becomes a news item. He leaves the school that day with no intention of coming back and the desire to spread his message of anti-homophobia. Another boy, the grandson of the old teacher, leaves his home that day, not sure where he's going, but sure he doesn't want to go back. He meets a strange older man on his journey and the two go for coffee parting soon afterwards. As the story progresses, the lives of the four lost souls, the two boys, the old teacher, and the strange older man all intertwine. As they meet and learn about each other, they also learn about themselves, and soon find that their journey is not one of escape, but one of self-discovery.
This movie deals with a lot of issues, most prominently homosexuality and homophobia, and because of this, the movie might not be for everyone. If you want a movie that will make you think about your life, and where you are going, however, this is it."
Somewhere in this Film there must be a Reason for Making It
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"AWAY (A)WAKE is a very low budget little film directed by Morgan Jon Foxwho also wrote the semblance of a script with Suzi Crashcourse, his cinematographer. As in his previous film BLUE CITRUS HEARTS Fox, a film school drop-out, seems to be developing a style and while that style worked fairly well with BLUE CITRUS HEARTS, here it seems to get in the way by making this seemingly self indulgent movie steer so far from a good idea that it is left floundering for an identity.
Ostensibly the 'story' intersects the lives of four characters: a gay high school lad who is reprimanded by his principal for a photo he shot of a moment of kissing with his boyfriend - an incident made into a homophobic circus against which the boy reacts; a grandmother whose husband of thirty years walks out on her leaving her to wander around looking for reasons yet giving verbiage to the need to maintain 'wonder' in our lives; the grandson of the grandmother who also happens to be the first character's boyfriend but is left wandering the streets in his soccer clothes groping for meaning; a older male street person with some insights into madness - or more meaningful views of the need for relating.
Good thoughts, these, but the problem with the film is finding focus and that starts with devising a script that goes beyond pedestrian philosophizing. The obviously untrained actors do their best to make this all work, but they are disrupted by schmaltzy camera work that just pushes drama aside for the sake of effect. The film gives the feeling of having been shot in a day and a night: more time given to concept and production may have saved this strange little interlude into something worth watching. In all it is an annoying hour and a half of loosely associated ideas that never quite gel. Back to BLUE CITRUS HEARTS....that was a better start for Fox. Grady Harp, October 06