The Photograph

The Photograph

2020, PG-13, 106 min. Directed by Stella Meghie. Starring Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chelsea Peretti, Chanté Adams, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jasmine Cephas Jones, Teyonah Parris, Rob Morgan, Courtney B. Vance, Lil Rel Howery, Wakeema Hollis.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Feb. 21, 2020

Past, present, and future loves and losses collide and combust in this well crafted but very slow burn of a romance. It’s no rom-com, to be sure. Instead, Everything, Everything director Meghie (who also wrote the intricate generation-hopping script) explores in granular detail the budding relationship between Mae Morton (Rae), a curator at the Bronx Museum of Art, and journalist Michael Block (Stanfield). Mae’s mother Christina (Adams), a world renowned photographer has recently passed away, and Mae is assembling a collection of her best work for a BMA retrospective. Michael, coincidentally, has been tasked to pen a feature on New Orleans and the impact of multiple hurricanes and the BP oil spill on the economy and culture. He starts out with only a nebulous idea of the story’s arc but soon focuses on downcast elder fisherman Isaac Jefferson (Morgan). Perusing the old gent's ramshackle home during his first of several visits, Michael comments on the titular snapshot and learns that it’s none other than Mae’s mother Christina. To Isaac, she’s the one who got away, his one true love whose talent and ambition led her to leave the Big Easy behind for the Big Apple, where her killer eye with a Nikon could be trained and focused. Eventually, Michael and Mae meet and, slowly but with a realism that puts most other recent romantic films to shame, a cautiously tentative relationship develops between the pair. And then come the requisite complications and one mighty revelation midway through that most audience members won’t see coming. I certainly didn’t.

Meghie flashes back and forth between the younger versions of Christina and Isaac, circa 1984, and the present and pleasantly uncertain connection growing between Mae and Michael. Both have their fair share of emotion baggage they’ve been lugging around. He’s been a player with commitment issues and she’s worried that her driven, unsentimental mother’s influence – or the lack thereof, since Christina rarely had time for actuating a real mother/daughter relationship of any great merit. Luckily, since both are upwardly mobile New Yorkers, there’s champagne on ice and Hurricane Irene pounding the city, so, you know, lust or something like it is very much in the air. It’s not for nothing that Meghie’s script is bookended by apocalyptically uncertain weather patterns. The CNN feed glimpsed in the background could not have been more spot-on if it was broadcasting Billie Holiday’s “Stormy Weather.” No worries: Marvin Gaye and a jazzy yet unobtrusive score by composer Robert Glasper weave their own kind of spell over this potentially – no spoilers here – doomed romance. Besides, Rae and Stanfield have an undeniable chemistry onscreen that renders their characters’ warily circling pas de deux bracingly real.

The Photograph is not The Notebook despite the inclusion of handwritten letters and ephemera from long ago lives lived to their fullest. Meghie’s film is a paean to the push and pull between enchanting possibilities and chimerical probabilities. You don’t need to bring a handkerchief into the theater for fear of ocular leakage, but The Photograph’s modestly hopeful denouement is, truly, picture perfect.

Showtimes

Mon., Feb. 17

12:30, 3:30, 6:25, 9:20

Tue., Feb. 18

3:30, 6:25, 9:20
AFA 12:35

Wed., Feb. 19

12:35, 3:30, 6:25, 9:20

Mon., Feb. 17

12:15, 3:05, 6:00, 8:55

Tue., Feb. 18

3:05, 6:00, 8:55
AFA 12:00

Wed., Feb. 19

12:00, 3:05, 6:00, 8:55

AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10

12625 N. I-35, 512/640-1533, www.amctheatres.com

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:15, 5:00, 7:45

Wed., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 7:45

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 10:00am, 12:40, 3:15, 6:00, 8:45

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 10:00am, 12:40, 3:15, 6:00, 8:45

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 10:20am, 11:45am, 1:05, 2:35, 4:00, 5:25, 6:50, 8:15, 9:40, 11:00

Tue., Feb. 18

digital 11:45am, 1:05, 2:35, 4:00, 5:25, 6:50, 8:15, 9:40, 11:00

Wed., Feb. 19

digital 11:45am, 1:05, 2:35, 4:00, 5:25, 6:50, 8:15, 9:40, 11:00

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Tue., Feb. 18

digital 1:30, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Wed., Feb. 19

digital 1:30, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Thu., Feb. 20

digital 1:30, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 11:20am, 2:10, 5:00, 7:50, 10:35

Tue., Feb. 18

digital 11:30am, 2:10, 5:00, 7:50, 10:35

Wed., Feb. 19

digital 11:30am, 2:10, 5:00, 7:50, 10:35

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 9:50

Tue., Feb. 18

digital 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 9:50

Wed., Feb. 19

digital 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 9:50

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15

Tue., Feb. 18

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15

Wed., Feb. 19

digital 11:15am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:30, 10:15

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Feb. 17

digital 10:45am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:15, 10:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Feb. 17

12:55, 4:05, 7:30, 10:10

Tue., Feb. 18

12:55, 4:05, 7:30, 10:10

Wed., Feb. 19

12:55, 4:05, 7:30, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Feb. 17

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:15, 10:45

Tue., Feb. 18

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:15, 10:45

Wed., Feb. 19

12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 10:15, 10:45
OC 8:15

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., Feb. 17

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., Feb. 18

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., Feb. 19

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Thu., Feb. 20

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC 10:30am, 1:15, 4:00, 6:45, 9:35

Tue., Feb. 18

CC 10:30am, 1:15, 4:00, 6:45, 9:50

Wed., Feb. 19

CC 10:30am, 1:15, 4:00, 6:45, 9:50

Thu., Feb. 20

CC 10:30am, 1:15, 4:00, 6:45, 9:50

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:40

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:40

Wed., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:40

Thu., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:40

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Mon., Feb. 17

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., Feb. 18

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., Feb. 19

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:55, 9:30

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:55, 9:30

Wed., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 4:15, 6:55, 9:30

Thu., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 4:15, 6:55, 9:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Wed., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Thu., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Feb. 17

10:15am, 1:15, 4:05, 7:00, 9:55

Tue., Feb. 18

10:30am, 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:55

Wed., Feb. 19

10:30am, 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:55

Thu., Feb. 20

10:30am, 1:20, 4:10

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Mon., Feb. 17

12:05, 3:15, 6:25, 9:35

Tue., Feb. 18

12:05, 3:15, 6:25, 9:35

Wed., Feb. 19

12:05, 3:15, 6:25, 9:35

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., Feb. 17

12:10, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., Feb. 18

2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Wed., Feb. 19

12:10, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Thu., Feb. 20

12:10, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$3.50 extra for 3-D.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC 11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10

Tue., Feb. 18

CC 11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10

Wed., Feb. 19

CC 11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10

Thu., Feb. 20

CC 11:50am, 2:20, 4:50, 7:30, 10:10

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Feb. 17

CC/DVS 11:40am, 1:45, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05

Tue., Feb. 18

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05

Wed., Feb. 19

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:20, 10:05

Thu., Feb. 20

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:50, 5:00, 7:45, 10:30

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Photograph, Stella Meghie, Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chelsea Peretti, Chanté Adams, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jasmine Cephas Jones, Teyonah Parris, Rob Morgan, Courtney B. Vance, Lil Rel Howery, Wakeema Hollis

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