The Bottom Line: "I thought I should be What you see in me" ~from the movie, can't locate artist
I ejoy small, independent, films to see different styles of acting without the action. This led me recently to Trees Grow Tall and Then They Fall, directed by Tim Everitt from a book by Verna Mitchell-Everitt. It is an unrated film but there is no nudity, small profanity like damn and hell, no smoking but drinking, which is allowed anyway in films without dinging them. No awards.
The story: Ellen is a teen, come to live with her father. I'm thinking it is for a summer visit but it is unclear about the length of her stay. Dad isn't the best influence; he's an alcoholic and drifter, seems to gravitate to women from his past to live with without having a true commitment. His current girlfriend, Hilly, is attractive but worn. She is married to Roy, a former lumberjack, who suffered a brain injury when a tree he was felling struck in smack dab in the head.
Roy is living in, and I use the term loosely, an assisted living home. Wheelchair bound, practically catatonic, he seems to come alive when Ellen visits him. As a side story, the local horndogs all swarm around the new girl in town but she sets her sights on Dave and the others don't stand a chance.
As her home life deteriorates, her peripheral life blossoms with Dave and Roy. She sets her goal to get Roy out of the living facility and back to his spacious home in the woods and his wife, Hilly.
The actors: Being an independent film, we call on family using Katherine Everitt to play the part of Ellen. She gave a good representation of a teen suddenly thrown into hell and a situation she didn't understand. Her dad and Hilly live in the middle of nowhere in a travel trailer, although Hilly has a spacious home she shared with Roy. There is one scene in particular when Ellen is showering in that small, enclosed, place that travel trailers have, where she just shows her disgust and confusion. Been there, done that.
Her father was played by Dave Bushnell and gave you little to love or admire about him, which I guess was the goal. He wasn't a staggering, belligerent drunk, he was just a drunk and a dreamer. Hilly was played by Sarah Aldrich who gave a good representation of a woman that doesn't know how she ended up where she did.
Paul Michael Robinson took on the role of wheelchair bound Roy. Up until the ending scenes he gave an outstanding performance with good facial expressions and bodily mannerisms. I just was put off with the ending scenes because there was no belief to them.
DVD extras: trailer, scene selection
Overall impression: I enjoyed the movie. A nice, peaceful, coming of age story with a little angst. I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Ellen and Roy and even the sneaky male attendant at the facility. Where it ruined it for me were the ending scenes which took it beyond believability - at least for me.
The filming, by Tom Everitt, was well done with some beautiful shots of the surrounding area. Interior and exterior work was clear with no shadows or grainy appearance. Sound quality was decent but I would like to know more on the songs used and the artists.
Overall I liked the film and have no hesitation about recommending it to anyone.
Thank you Sue, millinocket, for adding this to the database for me so quickly :)
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
What's your opinion on Trees Grow Tall & Then They Fall?