broken hearts, 2022.
Directed by Brea Grant.
Starring Katey Sagal, Abby Quinn, Alexxis Lemire and Joshua Leonard.
A country music duo search for their idol’s private mansion and end up in a twisted series of horrors that force them to face the limits they will go to for their dreams.
Director Brea Grant (12 hour shift) returns with a tight, confined fried country riff on sunset boulevardHe will surely be best remembered for a delightfully twisted performance by the ever-great Katey Sagal.
Together, friends Jordan (Abby Quinn) and Leigh (Alexxis Lemire) are known as the Nashville Torn Hearts country team, and when they hear that reclusive country legend Harper Dutch (Sagal) might be looking for a comeback, they pay a visit. unsolicited. her house in hopes of teaming up with her on a new record. Although Harper is initially hospitable, it soon becomes clear that her traumatic past, namely the death of her sister and her former bandmate years before her, continues to haunt her.
Weather broken hearts it’s a relatively predictable ride from start to finish, execution counts for a lot, for which Grant and his trio of leads deserve considerable praise. Beyond the horror shenanigans set in a mansion, this is also a movie willing to comment not only on the perils of fame, but also on the struggle of women to be taken seriously in the entertainment industry in general. The sexism, gaslighting, and abuse that must often be endured simply to climb the ladder, despite one’s talents, is evident from the experiences of all three main characters, no matter the generational divide between Harper and her peers. much younger guests.
The crux of the tension lies in the precise nature of Harper’s haunting past, triggered by an initial burst of brutal violence, and how it will inevitably manifest itself. Grant deftly fleshes out the explosion we all know is coming, but eschews cat-and-mouse simplicity in favor of a darker comedic story in which Harper effectively plans to pit the two bandmates against each other for her own benefit.
Grant walks a fine tonal line here, setting serious life and death stakes but also ensuring this is a fun-with-a-capital-f romp. That’s largely due to Sagal, who in her first major film role in six years is an absolute scream as the deranged and lonely former music star. She is allowed to swing wildly for the fences in the third act, but the performance never dares to descend into full camp.
As our youngest leads, Abby Quinn and Alexxis Lemire are well cast as the cautious and frustrated songwriter Jordan, and the more cocky and ambitious singer Leigh. They fit into their roles like a glove and gradually discover characters that harbor more depth than the aforementioned descriptions might suggest. Joshua Leonard also has a small but fun role as Richie Rowley Jones, a seedy music producer whom Leigh dates.
Once Grant has played the full hand of the story, the film perhaps, like the girls themselves, outgrows its welcome a bit, yet the tantalizingly caustic and cynical ending of Rachel Koller Croft’s screenplay only further complicates the story. overall theme, ensures that it reaches an appropriate prickly point. conclusion. broken heartsThe unadorned edges are greatly softened by a trio of stellar performances, most notably a wantonly broken Katey Sagal.
Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
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