Country: Ireland / Germany
Movie Review: After “New Boy”, an acclaimed short film dated from 2007, filmmaker Steph Green makes her debut feature with “Run and Jump”, a sweet and gentle drama that doesn’t try to take any emotional advantage of Ailbhe Keogan’s screenplay (also a solid debut). Instead, it presents us a sober approach, expressing a lot of feelings in its own way and being touchy in a legitimate manner. Mother of two kids, Vanetia Casey (Maxine Peak) is a frustrated and exhausted Irish housewife who accepts to host Ted Fielding (Will Forte) in her house for a while. Ted is an American doctor interested to make a case study of her husband, Conor (Edward MacLiam) who, at the age of 38, suffered a stroke that caused him deep personality alterations. Ted, little by little, starts to be a crucial figure inside the house, not only weaving a strong connection with Vanetia, but also with her lonely son, Lenny, who entered in a complicated process of self-discovery (perhaps an avoidable subplot). The ability here was not to rush things, but let them flow with sensibility and plainness. What I liked in Green’s approach was that the film never stepped into overused melodramatic scenes, choosing to look at the problems in a positive and non-manipulative way. The pleasant score fitted well in the mood intended, while in the visual aspect “Run and Jump” was able to pull out vivid colors from the lively, luminous frames. Peak was very believable in her performance, while Forte, after a great participation in “Nebraska”, demonstrates his adaptability.