Drama, 1 h 35 m

Let me teach you to be bold



Sometimes the past catches up to us and sets us free

Based on a true story, this film looks at the relationships between three generations of a family as they spend a weekend together at the grandmother’s house by the lake. The focus is on the grandmother’s past as she is given a packet of old photographs from an undeveloped film. Who exactly is the woman in the pictures? And why does the relationship between the three seem so strained? They all have issues and the film nicely dovetails the past and the present of the grandmother with all the current complexities.

Piper Laurie as grandmother Rose is the star of the film for me. Capturing strength and vulnerability as the oldest of the three, she holds the screen when she is present. But the young Rose (played by Shannon Collis) is almost as excellent an actor, especially in her scenes with the mysterious Louise. The least likeable character is the mother played by Brooke Adams – she reads her daughter’s journal, she drinks too much, she bitches about everything – but, she too, has issues and needs to have the courage to speak her mind. Finally, granddaughter Allison (Emily Baldoni) has marriage problems and an over inquisitive mother to sort out.

The scenes in the 1960’s with the young Rose reminiscing about Louise are beautifully shot and filmed and there is some fine acting and dialogue.

“You teach me to fish and I’ll teach you to be bold.”

We should all find someone who looks at us the way Louise looks at Rose…

One scene cuts from the eye of Louise in the 60’s straight to Rose’s in the present day as she strokes a blanket. The effect is strong and the scene is beautiful. Rose describes the way she felt as “She broke me open.”

As the three find some kind of honesty and a new truth in their love for each other, we see the real issues they are wrestling with and the depth of the characterisation is clear. Rose tells her granddaughter to “Live your own life no matter what, don’t live anyone else’s.” But she still won’t remember to carry her mobile phone…

The film is a 90 minute advert for life by a lake and is a nice example of allowing characters to unfold a story and find their own pace. It is mellow but there are depths and the way each grows feels realistic. This is good storytelling and a nice way to pass an hour and a half.

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