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

Laggies
Film Review: Laggies

Disappointing comedic entry about a late-20s slacker who won’t grow up is writer/filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s first outing directing someone else’s material. Points here for strong cast and an occasional chuckle, but otherwise there’s just no point. More »

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. 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