Directed by Jordana Spiro
Jordana Spiro initially made me regain confidence in the indie style with the drama “Night Comes On”. However, she kind of disappointed me in the end. Spiro and her convincing stars, Dominique Fishback and Tatum Marilyn Hall, build a detailed, dramatic tension until the final minutes when the story ends abruptly in an unimaginative redemption.
Fishback and Hall play Angel and Abby Lamere, 17 and 10, respectively, two sisters who get together again after the former is freed from juvenile detention, where she spent 2 years for drug use, shoplifting, and unlawful possession of a handgun. She goes after their father, a former recluse who did time for murdering their mother. The only thing we learn about the case is that he grew meaner after losing his job. Angel, who used to dream of being a teacher, seems incapable to forgive him and conceals a gun with the intention to make him vanish for good from the face of the earth.
In spite of that, the beautiful complicity between Angel and Abby, who had been entrusted to foster care after the incident, and the tender moments they spent together on an eventful trip to Long Island Beach impels the story to make a turn from its initial direction.
Gladly, Spiro, who co-wrote the script with the founder of Instagram-based media company The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu, is not an apologist of a static camera, making us search constantly and avidly for something more while reinforcing Angel’s loss of innocence and family trauma as well as Abby’s puberty-related changes.
There is nothing new or striking here, but rather emphatically emotional, in a film about decisions that never quite convinces in terms of a hypothetical revenge. Nevertheless, this is an auspicious directorial debut for Ms. Spiro, an actor turned director who gave the best instructions to her inspiring young muses.