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  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Well-wrought if nerve-shredding, Ross Partridge’s second indie, about an unusual friendship between a broken-down adult (played by the director) and a sad preteen girl, Tommie (Oona Laurence), isn’t the kind of drama that screams out to be made. As a result, it seems special, something you want to protect. Partridge’s David Lamb has a crumbling marriage and little to do but sit in a Chicago parking lot looking miserable. That’s when Tommie, the real lamb of the film, strolls up, asking for a cigarette.

Your internal alarms will blare immediately—and only get louder when the joking pair stages a fake abduction in David’s SUV (“I’m not a bad guy, but I could have been,” he scolds). Later, after he drops her off near her broken home, the two become acquaintances and, sometime after that, head out to an isolated cabin. It sounds utterly irresponsible—and is, frankly—but Lamb takes pains to show us that their connection isn’t about sex so much as mutual loneliness. Adapting Bonnie Nadzam’s 2011 novel, Partridge foregrounds the unlikely surrogate father-daughter bond, doomed to failure even as we watch it grow. Both actors are exquisite in quiet moments.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

Cast and crew

  • Director:Ross Partridge
  • Screenwriter:Ross Partridge
  • Cast:
    • Ross Partridge
    • Oona Laurence
    • Jess Weixler
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