There's violence amid beauty in this violent narrative
Reviewed by Joe O'Connell, Fri., March 15, 2013
SXSW Film Reviews
ColdwaterNarrative Spotlight, World Premiere
D: Vincent Grashaw; with PJ Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski
Near the end of Coldwater, the camera freezes for a moment on a bloodied manchild curled on a golden winter field in imitation of Andrew Wyeth's famed painting Christina's World. That violence amid beauty is the heart of this film about brutality at a private juvenile reform facility hidden in the Colorado mountains. At his parents' consent, small-time drug dealer Brad (Boudousqué) is hurtled into Coldwater, where a retired colonel dehumanizes teenage boys and slowly kills their souls. That's both the power and the weakness of the film, which is essentially a darker, teenage Cool Hand Luke. The acting is top-notch, as is the cinematography, but Coldwater itself is missing some humanity. We seldom experience the boys being boys and bonding – no Cool Hand Luke egg-eating contests here. Instead we have violence and blood at a level that soon becomes almost pornographic. Perhaps that's the point, but it's hard to stomach.
Wednesday, March 13, 11am, Alamo Ritz
Andy Campbell, Fri., March 15, 2013
Jessi Cape, Fri., March 15, 2013
Leah Churner, Fri., March 15, 2013
Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 15, 2013
Dan Solomon, Fri., March 15, 2013
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