Well worth the wait...
Cubist | United States | 02/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Victor Nunez may not be the most prolific filmmaker - he's made five feature films in 28 years - but the ones that do exist are intimate portraits of characters in transition, often leaving a bad situation in the hopes of starting a new life. His films are set in Florida (the state that he hails from) and his latest, Coastlines, is no different. However, because it was independently financed, the film has taken five years to finally see the light of day on DVD but for fans of Nunez's work, it has definitely been well worth the wait.
Right from the opening credits Nunez establishes the setting and the main characters of the film. He does a great job creating a sense of place, immersing us in the town and the people that inhabit it with the way he shoots everything and uses location and music. For example, he employs several evocative overhead long shots of the landscape that really go a long way in setting a particular mood and atmosphere. There is a consistency to the way he shoots his movies and Coastlines feels like it was shot in the 1990s along with his last two efforts, Ruby in Paradise and Ulee's Gold.
Nunez also has a knack for drawing very naturalistic performances out of his actors. These characters behave and speak like actual people and not like movie stereotypes. There's an ease and natural flow to their conversations. It's great to see actors like Timothy Olyphant, Josh Lucas and William Forsythe, who normally play larger than life characters in more mainstream fare, portray more realistically-written characters.
The nature of the story - a drama mixed with a crime thriller - lends itself to a potentially sensationalistic approach but Nunez treats every aspect of the movie (even the blowing up of a house) in a matter-of-fact manner. He also takes the time to incorporate the minutia of life into the film with little details, bits of business like showing the characters working at their respective jobs, to make them richer. This is true of his entire body of work because he is a humanistic filmmaker with a genuine empathy for his characters. He knows his universe and how to work within it. With the exception of the slightly pat ending that wraps things up a little too neatly; Nunez rarely makes a false step in Coastlines, delivering yet another satisfying movie for people who want a little something more substantial than what most Hollywood movies are willing to offer.
There is an audio commentary by writer/director Victor Nunez. He points out that many of the crew members that worked on this movie have worked on all five of his films. Nunez does a fine job articulating the themes in his movies and why he chooses to explore them while also touching upon aspects like casting and the technical details of making a movie.
Also included is one deleted scene with an optional commentary by Nunez. This scene actually appeared at the Sundance Film Festival screening but he ultimately cut it because it dragged out the film's ending."
Reader | Boca Raton, FL | 10/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this movie because of Timothy Olyphant. I like his performance in HBO series "Deadwood" but have not seen him on the big screen yet before I got this movie. His big dark eyes are mesmerizing and his quiet walk hints that there is a trouble to this character that is difficult to decode right away. Olyphant plays a convict released early from the prison who returns to his home town. He wants to collect money from a job that landed him to prison in a first place and reconnect with friends from his youth. His best friend is a sheriff, kind and caring, if not dull - who is married to a beautiful woman both men love. Can this love triangle survive the temptations? Where does loyalty and frendship fall into the play? Can someone start over his life after terrible personal loss? Good story, lots of action, great characters and moving emotional power."
Low budget indie melodrama
Bradley F. Smith | Miami Beach, FL | 07/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite Josh Brolin's presence, this indie film smacks of low budget, though its tale of revenge, with a love triangle on the side, makes for pleasant viewing. Set in the Florida Panhandle, the film doesn't make very clear what the central character wants from the two evil marina guys, though he seems to want some money owed him before he went to prison for some drug activities. The action parts of the film are the weak link, but the character development of the love triangle participants is decently done. Recommended."
Sandra Seymour | 05/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a huge Timothy Olyphant fan, I knew I would not be disappointed and I wasn't. This is an emotional little movie with characters that are flawed and so human. I would suggest this film to others."