‘There Is A New World Somewhere’ A Film With Heart By Director Li Lu
“There is a New World Somewhere” 1hr 42min Adventure, Drama, Romance,Written and Directed by Li Lu.
Reviewed by Craig Sawyer
Sylvia returns to her Texas hometown for a friend’s wedding. There she meets Esteban, an electrifying stranger. He dares her to join him on a road trip through the Deep South. The film opens up in a dream of two people in a passionate embrace and then reality returns and we see that it’s Sylvia (Agnes Bruckner) is the one who has been dreaming. Ms. Bruckner is always interesting to watch. Her eyes have secrets, and as she wakes and sits up in bed, she stares at her hands, as if she was disappointed that it was just a dream. A shock to be returned to the mortal coil. Bruckner tells us with just her expression what head space this character is in. She takes time to ‘breath in’ the scene and make us believe in it. A sign of a great film actor.
Sylvia pays the bills catering parties for a local art galley in Chelsea, NY, with hopes of getting her paintings displayed one day. She is an aspiring artist that just can’t seem to get anyone to take her work seriously, and after having her portfolio verbally shredded by her arrogant boss, she heads back to hometown of Austin for a friends wedding to recharge and decide what direction to take her life.
The first night at home she goes to a party and sees old friends. There, she meets a mysterious man named Esteban (Maurice Compte) who catches her eye. Compte does a good job of smoldering, but should have lost the cigarette in the first scene where he meets Sylvia. I know rebels smoke, but I was kinda like waiting for her to start choking with him blowing it in her face. He could have Brandoed it up with another prop.
The Mysterious Esteban and Sylvia go on a date, and Esteban purposes they take an impromptu road trip through the Southern States. There is a scene where they get caught in the rain while running back to the car, and I was really hoping that this is where they would have their first kiss. A missed opportunity, or maybe it’s just the romantic in me. You watch and decide. There is some gorgeous scenery in the film. The Cinematography was pretty straight forward and well done. Put it, the camera on the actors and let them do their thing.
The two main characters clash over personal life decisions, and whether it is really worth it to chase a dream. Esteban used to be in a band, but now he writes video blogs and just kinda goes wherever the wind blows, but he also has something else weighing on him. This all comes to a head when Esteban drops a mini-bombshell on her and makes her question why she left her friends and went with him in the first place.
The characters are from the South and they thought Graceland was in Nashville? How do you not know that Graceland is in Memphis? Oh, never mind me, I’m just being an Elvis nut. I guess I can let that slide.
Overall a great little movie with some solid acting. The Bedroom scene when Sylvia confronts Esteban about a picture of a girl on his computer was powerful. Compte killed in that scene and brought what appeared to be real depth and anguish to the screen. The supporting cast did a great job as well. Good to see John Robinson on screen in this, I’ve enjoyed him ever since Elephant and Lords of Dogtown.
He has a true genuineness on screen. And I loved Raymond Vrazel Jr. playing Walt; that was great screen debut Mr Vrazel. All in all, I would recommend this film. It’s a nice change from remakes and explosions, not that I don’t like those sometimes, but there is still room for heartfelt, character driven movies like this one.
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Reviewer Bio: Craig Sawyer lives in Los Angeles and is an actor and writer of screenplays, graphic novels and speculative fiction.
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