Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Refuge

Sincere but unconvincing drama finds hope in a drunken one-night-stand.

March 24, 2014

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1396708-Refuge_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A local production making the Hamptons feel a good deal less hospitable than they do during the fest, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge imagines a broken home and suggests that the addition of another wounded person might be just the thing to make it whole. Less convincing than it might have been on the stage, where Goldberg originated it, the picture may benefit at fests from the presence of Krysten Ritter.

Ritter plays Amy, whose parents went to Florida and never came back, leaving her to drop college and come to care for two damaged teenaged siblings (Madeleine Martin and Logan Huffman). Having slept her way through all the regulars at her local bar, she perks up after a one-night stand with Sam (Brian Geraghty), an inarticulate drifter who subsequently asks to rent the family's couch, then starts helping out around the house. Though outside forces conspire against them, the two begin to imagine patching together a family.

Ritter copes most successfully with the heaped-up misery Goldberg's script offers: By no means pleasant, her particular brand of emotional damage is credible. Others in the cast fare less well; Huffman's character, who recently had a brain tumor removed and has evidently been made susceptible to manipulation, is particularly problematic. Goldberg works to show the need the abandoned siblings have for each other, but their casual misbehavior belies that bond; beyond the sexual relationship Amy and Sam have, we see little strength in him that might cause this family to, as the title would have it, seek refuge in this particular stranger.

The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Refuge

Sincere but unconvincing drama finds hope in a drunken one-night-stand.

March 24, 2014

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1396708-Refuge_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A local production making the Hamptons feel a good deal less hospitable than they do during the fest, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge imagines a broken home and suggests that the addition of another wounded person might be just the thing to make it whole. Less convincing than it might have been on the stage, where Goldberg originated it, the picture may benefit at fests from the presence of Krysten Ritter.

Ritter plays Amy, whose parents went to Florida and never came back, leaving her to drop college and come to care for two damaged teenaged siblings (Madeleine Martin and Logan Huffman). Having slept her way through all the regulars at her local bar, she perks up after a one-night stand with Sam (Brian Geraghty), an inarticulate drifter who subsequently asks to rent the family's couch, then starts helping out around the house. Though outside forces conspire against them, the two begin to imagine patching together a family.

Ritter copes most successfully with the heaped-up misery Goldberg's script offers: By no means pleasant, her particular brand of emotional damage is credible. Others in the cast fare less well; Huffman's character, who recently had a brain tumor removed and has evidently been made susceptible to manipulation, is particularly problematic. Goldberg works to show the need the abandoned siblings have for each other, but their casual misbehavior belies that bond; beyond the sexual relationship Amy and Sam have, we see little strength in him that might cause this family to, as the title would have it, seek refuge in this particular stranger.

The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Happy Christmas
Film Review: Happy Christmas

Joe Swanberg's latest feature is a collection of strong individual scenes and performances that never quite finds its statement of purpose. More »

Very Good Girls
Film Review: Very Good Girls

More of a meandering, misguided path than a road to hell, Naomi Foner’s directing debut, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as 18-year-old BFFs, is similarly filled with good intentions. More »

The Kill Team
Film Review: The Kill Team

Marine Adam Winfield goes on trial in a case in which U.S. soldiers murdered innocent Afghanis. Strong subject marred by poor narrative choices. More »

The Divine Move
Film Review: The Divine Move

Excessive violence and off-the-wall plotting undermine an intriguing game-based premise. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Guardians of the Galaxy review
Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

With Marvel’s backing, cult filmmaker James Gunn blasts off for the stars and takes audiences along for a wild, funny ride. More »

Hercules
Film Review: Hercules

Legendary strongman is caught in the middle of a brutal civil war in a fast-paced vehicle for Dwayne Johnson. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here