Out­side In

Car­bon Arc Cin­ema, 1747 Sum­mer Street Fri­day, April 6, 7pm, $8, car­bonarc.ca

The Coast - - ARTS -

Lynn Shel­ton makes small movies with high con­cepts, such as 2009’s Hump­day, about two straight best friends who agree to have sex for an am­a­teur porn com­pe­ti­tion; and Your Sis­ter’s Sis­ter, a sin­gle-lo­ca­tion three-han­der in­volv­ing sperm-steal­ing. Both of those starred Mark Du­plass; Shel­ton’s lat­est stars his brother Jay as Chris, who’s re­turn­ing to life in his small town af­ter serv­ing a prison stint. He re­con­nects with his for­mer high school teacher Carol (Edie Falco), who helped get him out. He is clearly in love with her, or thinks he is; she is mar­ried and con­flicted. Their town is small, generic and work­ing­class, the kind of place where ev­ery­one knows who Chris is and what they think he did.

As he tries to ad­just to a life that no longer makes sense—liv­ing in a shack with his brother, bik­ing around on his old BMX be­cause he’s not al­lowed to drive, try­ing to find me­nial work—Chris’ feel­ings for Carol in­ten­sify to a near-ob­ses­sive de­gree. She’s highly aware of the im­pro­pri­ety but flat­tered by the at­ten­tion. Shel­ton, whose most re­cent cred­its in­clude the tele­vi­sion se­ries Ca­sual and Love, is best at cre­at­ing height­ened, in­ti­mate mo­ments be­tween two peo­ple, push­ing her cam­era so close to their faces it’s al­most un­com­fort­able.

Falco is aces at this kind of per­for­mance— though it’s qui­eter than we’ve seen her in a long time—and Du­plass, who co-wrote the movie, nearly sags with sad­ness. Add an An­drew Bird score and a lot of rain and this tiny movie hits a lot harder than you might ex­pect.

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