New Review from WTTR!! Spoiler Alert! So Be Aware

I found this amazing review and had to share it.  Thanks @drownInIt for sharing.  I just hope that the rest of us will be able to enjoy in the theaters!!
On Sunday 3rd October 2010, said:
NEW: #WTTR reviews
After MUCH anticipation, I got the chance to see
#WTTR at the San Diego Film Festival last night. I’ll be honest, despite being extremely excited to see Kristen in this role, I was managing my expectations about Rileys as a whole since I did not love the initial script and am still smarting a little from my Runaways letdown (after having had great expectations for that film).

Rileys is a good film with interesting characters that learn and grow and are affected by the experiences in their lives and with each other. And all three principal actors do an extremely impressive and noteworthy job of conveying that narrative so that the audience does feel moved by their plight and catharsis.

But I wanted more. And I wanted less. And I kept feeling like I was missing something just out of reach that would have coalesced these stories into a depiction of loss and hope that resonates with fierce, undeniable authenticity instead of stopping at feeling sweet and poignant. Sweet and poignant are not criticisms necessarily- but the actors show continued commitment and bravery on screen while the movie itself feels very safe.

For one, I wanted more Kristen and not just because of the obvious bias.

The movie comes alive when she’s on screen. Her performance is electric and unpredictable in the most compelling way. It’s not exactly that she’s playing against type in Rileys as Bella is really her only very conventional role in recent years, it’s that she clearly is challenging herself to do something that she’s never done before. Mallory is completely boundless and without boundaries and Kristen's performance is mimetic of that on screen experience.

Never has she been more accessible, willing to give the audience literally everything that is her in any given moment and never has she appeared so broken and removed from who she is. It’s not the circumstances of her character that make this a tour-de-force, it’s Kristen’s approach as notably different from anything she’s done prior. Her biggest supporters always say that it’s her authenticity that makes her so good, it never feels like “acting” when she’s on screen.

That’s a high and warranted compliment in their eyes but I think Rileys will make even her advocates take a second look. Without relying on “tools” to sell a character or scene convincingly, Kristen shows that she is, in fact, an incredible actor.

James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo also give very commendable performances, both displaying qualities not typically seen in their various on screen personae with effective subtlety and nuance. They are a believable couple and their re-connection midway through the film feels right and warm and worthy.

It’s clear that all three actors are successfully pushing their characters forward at every moment but there are times when I wished the scenes pushed back at them a little more. The grit and messiness inherent to the premise has almost completely been stripped away (no pun intended) and while the characters are complex and their dynamics more so, there is little tension in Rileys and even less suspense. Part of that is due to repeated interim scenes of the characters’ inactivity ie; multiple shots of smoking, sleeping and staring that mitigate some of the would-be dramatic conflict.

Rileys is a story worth telling and definitely a movie worth seeing.
I only wish the acting supported a great film instead of buoying a flawed one.


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