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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bottled Up Movie Review


Melissa Leo is bouncing back and forth between mainstream Hollywood and quirky indie productions. Despite already earning an Oscar, she refuses to stray too far from the independent scene, with mixed results. To be fair, most of her films and all of her performances are still fine stuff.

"Bottled Up", Enid Zentelis' offbeat dramedy, features Leo as Faye, a mother in a small town whose drug-addled daughter, Sylvie (Marin Ireland) still lives with her despite being in her 30's. Faye's face betrays years of resigned hardship in trying to maintain a semblance of a normal life while protecting her damaged daughter. Despite Sylvie's shortcomings, she never feels like someone near death, even when she is. Because of this it is hard to feel sorry for her or dislike her. The effect is for us to not care very much about her. That's not a good thing.

Faye's world changes when she is shopping in a health food store, not her normal place to hang out. There she encounters Becket (Josh Hamilton). Becket is a health food nut and an environmental nut. He spouts the typical jargon one expects from this type. He isn't dim and he is sincere, but he is the kind of guy who might prattle on about something you have no clue about or interest in.

Becket ends up renting a spare room in Faye's house because Faye sees Becket as a possible romantic interest for her daughter. It doesn't quite work out that way, though he does end up causing a life-changing series of events for the two ladies.

As usual, Leo is excellent. Her two co-stars are both pretty good, even though Becket's character stretches believability. Then again, we have all met people as poorly self-aware as he is for the majority of "Bottled Up". What's missing is the care factor. We care somewhat about Faye, but it's hard to muster up much emotion for Sylvie or Becket. There is no need to bottle up this one and mass market it, although some of you indie fans may find enough here to hold your interest.

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