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Dances with Films
2015 Reviews

all movies are graded out of four stars (****)

The Aftermath poster All Mistakes Buried (The Aftermath) *** Q&A video with Sam Trammell & Shaun Sanghani, May 31, 2015
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Sam Trammell not only stars but also executive produces and helped devise the story (along with director Tim McCann and producer Shaun Sanghani, who both wrote the screenplay) for this drama, and his performance accordingly reflects the extra commitment he lent to this project. As the center of a tightly focused (and paced--the film clocks in under 90 minutes) character study on Sonny, an aimless addict who is jolted into uncharacteristic action in order to retrieve an anniversary gift for his estranged wife (Missy Yager), Trammell is fascinating and fearless. Stripped clean--or, more accurately, filthy--of anything approaching actorly vanity, he never shies away from his character's more off-putting qualities while still maintaining a core human vulnerability crucial not only to maintain an audience connection but to establish continuity with the film's frequent, fragmented flashbacks to Sonny and his wife's more steady and composed past. The fractured timeline points up the one shortcoming here, where the more story/thriller-driven aspects of the scenario are a bit more mechanical. The mystery manufactured by that willfully obscuring device becoming far less of one far too quickly, and the electric presence of Vanessa Ferlito as one of the various shady characters Sonny encounters in his quest goes largely underused. But the disorienting atmosphere created by the more idiosyncratic stylistic touches also points up the intimate authenticity of the more important ambition: the complete, discomfiting, disturbing immersion not only into Sonny's muddled mind but the grimy, seedy atmosphere of his entire milieu, where drugs, debauchery, and all manner of short-term sensations are in far too abundantly inverse proportion to any concrete or lasting sense of happiness and hope.

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Dances with Films 2015 Reviews/© Michael Dequina

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