Thursday, 10 July 2014

DVD Review - Lullaby

Director: Andrew Levitas
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Richard Jenkins, Jessica Brown Findlay, Anne Archer, Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Barden, Terrence Howard, Amy Adams
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Retail: $20.99
Running Time: 117 minutes
Rating: R


Typically, I avoid drama-type films, but after reading the press release for Lullaby, I requested to review an advance copy of the DVD, which will be available on July 29th. Lullaby is an independent film, written and directed by Andrew Levitas. It was filmed in 2012 and was finally released to theaters in a limited-run last month.

Lullaby centers on twenty-six-year-old wannabe musician, Jonathan Lowenstein (played by Garrett Hedlund) arriving at the hospital to visit his father, Robert (played by Richard Jenkins), who has been fighting cancer for the past twelve years. Jonathan has been estranged from his parents and his younger sister, Karen (played by Jessica Brown Findlay), for two-years when he left for California to pursue a music career. Upon visiting his parents (Anne Archer plays his mother, Rachel), he learns that his father is ready to die and wants his doctor (played by Terrence Howard) to remove the ventilator in less than 48 hours.

Jonathan has never been able to express his emotions to others, so he tries to bottle up his feelings for his father. To make matters worse, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend (played by Amy Adams), who is now married, and must deal with his past feelings for her. His relationship with his sister is a rocky one and they bunt heads, as Karen wants to stop her father from dying. Only after befriending a terminally-ill teenager (played by Jessica Barden), does he finally understands that life is short and he must be there for his family.

Lullaby reminds me of the 2011 film The Descendants (the rare drama that I've actually watched), as both plots involve a family struggling with a tragedy. Yes, the plot is a little cliched at times, but thanks to great performances by the cast, especially by Richard Jenkins and Jessica Barden, the film does has its fine points, though it is a little dull in spots. Amy Adams is only in a few scenes and her character adds nothing to film. This film isn't for everyone, though the plot isn't depressing as you might imagine it would be. The best scenes are the interactions between Jonathan (Hedlund) and Meredith (Barden). Overall, Lullaby features a strong cast with a flawed script; while Andrew Levitas does a decent job in his directorial debut.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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