After-Opening in Los Angeles August 15th
A haunting and powerful psychological drama set in the winter of 2002 in chilly upstate New York, AFTER tells the story of a middle class family struggling with the financial consequences of a failing family business and a series of intergenerational conflicts and rivalries.
But, what truly threatens to upset their delicate balance– and shatter the emotionally fragile family matriarch, (played by Academy Award Nominee, Kathleen Quinlan)– is an intricately buried secret that, if revealed, could alter their lives irrevocably.
This film might have created a new genre or description for a movie. As it unfolded, it felt like a Hitchcockian-family drama. The movie is not a thriller and had no reason for you to be on the edge of your seat. Yet, the director, cast and editor managed to grab the audience by their emotional throat and not let go. The real magic here is, we have no clue why the family is so tense. Nearly every family drama gives us a hint, we might miss the hint or the director’s nuance was meant to be missed. AFTER did not even allow a facial expression to possibly give away the plot and the horrible path Nora Valentino (Kathleen Quinlan) was headed towards.
The subject matter of the film (which I will not reveal), now more than ever when discussed in a film is put in our face or emotional consciousness immediately. It is well known film is a manipulative art-form and with this subject, a director knows it can grab their audience with one shot or line of dialogue. However, the production team (writers, actors, editors and directors) turned this movie on its ear. It did not take what many filmmakers do with any major emotional event and cheapen it with expository dialogue or the one “scene” that must set us up.
AFTER is a searing study of denial, deception, and self-delusion, AFTER is also a powerful portrait of the lengths we go to protect those we love. This movie is a brilliant independent master-piece and I hope Quinlan’s performance can find its way through all the studio marketing and lobbying and land her another Oscar nomination. This was a very worthy performance and she was so good, it would not be surprising if this role took a toll on her personal life. AFTER is one of the best independent films to come along in at least 5-8 years.
AFTER is Pieter Gaspersz’s directorial debut and was written by Sabrina Gennarino. Gaspersz and Gennarino also produced the film. With editing by three-time Oscar ® nominee William Steinkamp (Tootsie) and music by three-time Emmy ® winner Jeff Beal.Academy Award Nominee, Kathleen Quinlan (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, APOLLO 13) stars in the film, with a supporting cast that includes John Doman (THE WIRE), Tony Nominee, Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black), Adam Scarimbolo (A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS), Sabrina Gennarino (13 SINS), Diane Neal (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Darrin Dewitt Henson(SOUL FOOD, STOMP THE YARD), Bruno Gunn (THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE) and Mandy Gonzalez (MAN ON A LEDGE, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE).
Opening in Los Angeles on Friday, August 15th
Runtime: 101 min / Not Yet Rated
Film Review by Film Journalist: Paul Booth