Number Rolled: 8
Movie Name/Year: Safelight (2015)
Tagline: Love with lead the way.
Length: 82 minutes
Production Companies: Aloupis Productions, Hacienda Film Co.
Producer: Tony Aloupis, Bernie Gewissler, Joe Krieg, Andrew Mysko, Cory Neal, Carol Randinelli Stark
Director: Tony Aloupis
Writer: Tony Aloupis
Actors: Evan Peters, Juno Temple, Kevin Alejandro, Jason Beghe, Christine Lahti, Ariel Winter, Will Peltz, Don Stark, Matthew Ziff, Joel Gretsch, Ever Carradine, Meaghan Martin, Joe Krieg, Lee Garlington, Gigi Rice, Roma Maffia, Taylor Boggan
Blurb from Netflix: A lonely teen bullied for his limp and a runaway who turns tricks at a truck stop embark on a road trip and discover a new world of possibilities.
Selina’s Point of View:
This is generally the kind of drama I tend to steer away from. From beginning to end I tend to feel like absolutely nothing happens, nothing changes, and the plot is pointless.
Straight dramas are just not my thing.
I attempted to put that attitude aside in order to enjoy it. I failed. Mostly, I was just bored.
Juno Temple (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Maleficent, Mr. Nobody) was outstanding in her role, but Evan Peters (American Horror Story, Adult World, The Lazarus Effect) was a little on the unbelievable side to me. I felt like the limp wasn’t quite realistic enough for me to believe the story. Sometimes the limp was more pronounced, other times it looked like he forgot to limp at all. Since the very core of the story is based around that limp, that’s a big issue.
All the other main actors followed Temple’s lead. There weren’t any that I had an issue with. Jason Beghe (Chicago P.D., X-Men: First Class, Chicago Fire) played the sick and waning father figure wonderfully. Christine Lahti (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Jack & Bobby, Chicago Hope) was very believable, however, I kept putting Katey Sagal (Pitch Perfect 2, Sons of Anarchy, Futurama) as the part of Peg in my mind… so every time Lahti’s face came on screen I was momentarily confused. That’s not Lahti’s fault. It’s mine and I don’t know why it happened.
Some of background actors irked me, like the actor that played the main bully – I think it was Will Peltz (Unfriended, As Cool As I Am, The Outskirts). Nothing he said or did landed well. Everything he did was like an over-exaggeration or parody of what it was supposed to be.
I guess the plot itself was fine, it just didn’t resonate with me. It might, however, resonate with hardcore drama fans. You’d have to be a fan of the genre though.
Cat’s Point of View:
I thought this movie would be interesting when it came to our attention during our monthly Top Twenty. It was, indeed. Though, as I come away from watching it; I find myself feeling down.
This film goes to some dark places – though, I get it. What better way to illustrate the beacon of safety that the lighthouses represent. There was a thread of hope laced in to the tale, but it didn’t seem to be enough to shake the overall bleak feeling.
Evan Peters (Never Back Down, The Good Doctor, Elvis & Nixon) and Juno Temple (Wild Child, Horns, Away) both knocked their roles out of the park. Peters captured that teen awkwardness well and you could just feel the internal struggle of both characters.
There were a few moments of levity scattered through the seriousness of this drama – and one was entirely subtle on the level of an Easter egg.
I loved Christine Lahti’s (Smart People, Petunia, Touched with Fire) character, Peg. The redheaded spitfire is the glue that holds the elements of this movie together. I couldn’t help but notice her hairstyle and some of her mannerisms reminded me heavily of the character Peg Bundy from Married With Children (1987-1997). I had a giggle. Things that make you go ‘hmm.’
I don’t think I’ll be watching this one again, just because I didn’t like the low place it left me in. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good drama – regardless of how it twists you up by the end.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 6%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%
Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score – 2/5
Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score – 4/5
P.S. There’s a short, somewhat pointless, scene after the credits.