A young vermont photographer sees her husband everywhere even though he died a year ago. Resonating with emotional accuracy & insightful humor bereft proves that sometimes you have to fall apart before you can come togethe... more »r. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 08/21/2007 Starring: Timothy Daly Tim Blake Nelson Run time: 98 minutes Rating: R Director: Timothy Daly« less
"I just finished watching Showtime's Independant Film - Bereft - and I had to see if it was available on DVD. I'm glad to see it coming out this week! It will probably appeal to a very small audience as it is a bit dark, and totally a drama.
This movie was so compelling (Not to mention the cast - Wow!). I had not seen Vinessa Shaw in a movie since Hocus Pocus, and she has truely grown as an actress. She never faltered as Molly, a grieving wife whose husband Joel (a professor of literature) was tragically killed one year earlier when struck by a car while jogging. At the time Molly was an up-and-coming professional photographer. Now, one year later, she is working at a photography shop (kind of like a one-hour-photo) under a very funny employer. We've all met the type, she believes herself to be a good listener and a people person, but you can't believe some of the things that come out of her mouth. (To a mother who comes in for a 5 by 7 enlargement of her one month old baby "We can air-brush out that awful looking bruise" - "That's not a bruise that's his birthmark" - "Oh, Well we can still do something about it, I mean who wants to look at that, right?" - "There is nothing wrong with the way he looks" - "Oh, right, sometimes you gotta take 'em home and love 'em anyway" - "There is nothing wrong with my baby!" - "That's the spirit!") LOL.
On the outside, it seems like Molly is quietly grieving. The only indicator of her inability to move forward is her refusal to get into a car. However, the viewer soon realizes that all is not well. Molly is "seeing" her husband - he is in the store next to her (gone when she turns around), behind her in bed, drinking a beer in the kitchen. She wears his clothing around the house, and listens to the answering machine messages he left for her while still alive.
Her parents (if you still need a reason to watch - do so for Edward Herrmann and Marsha Mason as her parents) are a bit worried as all parents would be, and would like to see her getting on with her life. Mom sets Molly up with an appointment at the local old folk's home for 'bring a pet' day as the photographer and she misses the appointment. She arrives at Molly's home to find her gone and to find a man's shoe in the living room (not to mention a home badly in need of some housekeeping). After questioning her about the shoe in the living room (Molly, is this Joel's?) and the condition of her home (how can you live like this?) - Molly invents a relationship with the brother-in-law of a friend - played by the wonderful Michael C. Hall of Six Feet Under. Of course, Mom is ecstatic, and insists that Molly bring him to brunch forcing her to begin a bit of a relationship with him (what a jerk).
I shouldn't tell too much of the movie (this isn't Movie Spoilers after all!) - It's just hard not to when you see such a great film. I gave this movie 5 stars even though there were a few things that just didn't click with me. There are a few parts in the film that just didn't make sense and didn't flow into the next scene. Also, Molly's Mom is one who is always wanting things to be perfect and in place, etc., and is very involved in her two daughter's lives. So why has she not been to her daughter's home in over a year? I have seen some reviews of this movie that mention the ending not being what they desired, but I found it to be just perfect.
I laughed, I cried - I loved this movie! Give it a chance. :o)"
Nice work, Tim Daly!
episcocrank | New York, New York USA | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This well-crafted indie film depicts a young widow during her first year without her husband, who was killed in a tragic accident. Set in the Vermont countryside, the film uses visual and verbal metaphors to good effect, as well as subtle humor and irony.
We watch Molly's anger and pain build below the surface while the people around her try to smooth everything over and push her into "moving on." Her problem-drinker father declares them "one big happy family" on an occasion when they obviously are not; her mother is delighted to imagine she has begun dating again; a friend in the supermarket exclaims, with visible relief, "I knew you'd bounce back!"
All the while, using a variety of photographic media, Molly frantically tries to capture what is impermanent. One of the meanings of the word "bereft" is "robbed," and her symbolic efforts to get back what has been stolen from her escalate alarmingly as the movie goes on. This is definitely not a feel-good movie, but ultimately a turning point arrives which causes the truth to be acknowledged openly and, implicitly, the process of forgiveness and making amends to begin."
R. Channavajhala | 08/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not much of a movie reviewer that I'm, but I'd to do this for the sake of this beautiully crafted film so it could potentially entice some viewers to see the film.
Molly Morris is a widow, who even after a year is still at her husbannd's funeral. Unable to reconcile and resign to the reality, she dwells in the past while living in the present. She has to resort to thrill seeking activities such as shop lifiting to get a "week's high" and put some vanity into her pretty much lack lustre existence. Her life is mundane, a job at a photo lab, occassional dinner with her parents and imagining her dead husband being around her. She is an organized drifter, an exasperated soul.
Dennis, the unforgettable Tim Blake Nelson (Whose another superb film is 'Cherish' with Robin Tunney) is somewhat Molly can relate to, who will break a honey bee's nest with iron rod or pulls down a TV antenna with a snow mobile just for the kicks of it and seeks thrill. An abstract friendship develops between Molly and Dennis, which soon leads into some other unsavory acts such as breaking and entering into stranger's homes or shooting chickens and so on. Denis has an uncle who is really a bored small time town guy, u know the rebellious types. The shooting of the chicken scene in which Daly (Uncle) and Dennis chase around a hapless chicken, while Molly photographs in a catatonic state is a real funny/sad scene, this is one of the most enduring images I have ever taken back from any movies.
Anyway, I loved the movie towards the end which I'm not going to reveal which is basically an amazing piece of film making. Guilt, redemeption, forgiveness...oh...beyond description. It is very hard not to respond to this stunning scene emotionally.
I cant write more about Vinessa Shaw than just to say she is simply incredible in her portrayal as Molly Morris. Tim Blake Nelson is one hell of an actor and Daly as his deranged uncle is great. Even the itsy bitsy appearence by Michael Hall is quite exhilirating, especially his conversation with Molly on a date and his acerbic comments on Molly's photgraphic work.
All around, a great film with some truly memorable performances. I highly recommend this."
One of the best indie films I've seen in a while!
Lady Donna DMU | Chester County, PA | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so glad I was lucky enough to come across this film. It is beautifully done--both the music and the the scenic shots of this small town in Vermont. The story itself was just as amazing and quickly draws you in to discover more about what has happened to Molly. I wish there were more films like this one!"
Tim Daly's Directorial Debut
T. Daly | 11/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tim Daly and Clark Mathis have made a beautiful, funny, intruiging movie about grief. Sounds crazy but they did it. It is a fantastic first effort for Daly and a movie that always keeps you guessing without being pretentous. You will love it. Great performances from a terrific cast."