RUNOFF (3/4)

Written and directed by Kimberly Levin

Starring: Joanne Kelly, Neal Huff, Alex Shaffer, Kivlighan de Montebello, Tom Bower & Darlene Hunt

Runoff, an Independent Feature was screened for New Yorkers to view at the chic Crosby Street hotel in SoHo on June 21st. While reading the description of the film beforehand, I was eager to see a film about farm life, which is polar opposite from a life we are used to in New York.  The film exceeded my expectations with a depiction of a life utterly opposite from city life.  Relationship wise. Lifestyle wise. Economic wise.  Now, we live in a society where—for the most part—there are infinite possibilities. Infinite ways to go about a goal or issue.  This family did not have such widespread choices.  The family in Runoff is threatened to leave their land, in financial struggle, a health issue, and much anxiety that surfaces and flows like that of a river. The problem at hand can leave for a bit, but it will just come right around as the stream cycles.

The debutant director Kimberly Levin, who's also the writer of the film, has created a complex story with even more complex characters. In this world nothing is black and white, and no one is good and evil. The story and the characters are all in that gray zone, just doing their best to survive. It does get overly complicated and close to confusing at points, but the story does bind together to deliver a powerful punch with a thoughtful story.

With beautiful cinematography, color, nature, and plenty of wide shots showing farm life, this film created an awe. A  sympathy for the family, even though I as the viewer do not live on a farm.  Betty, is the mother who holds everything together like glue, for as long as she can.  I think her character can be a metaphor for all of us and our actions in day-to-day life.  Some things require a sense of urgency.  Sometimes the issue at hand completely has to do with money, and sometimes, we as humans don’t realize how our actions can affect more than just our family. Those are some of the beautiful and insightful feelings I was left with as the film was coming to a close.  When I make a decision, is it only best for me? For my best friends?  Am I being selfless or selfish? How can I help the community? I think this colorful film highlights family troubles, decision making, with nuclear family dynamics still highlighted, and a farm lifestyle that may soon become extinct, this film is an eye opener to remember that we are all being affected by the same stream.

The film is filled with beautiful performances by entire cast including lead actors Joanne Kelly and Neal Huff. Joanne's performance has lots of shades and she play in beautifully. Neal Huff shows the charisma of a charming and loving husband and father, girth and pain of a hard working farmer and man struggling hard to support his family. The supporting cast is amazing and beautiful performances by children make it even more flavorful.

Runoff will open Theatrically on June 26th, by Monterey Media.  It will also be available on On Demand, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Xbox, and more.

(with addition inputs from Art Shrian)

Note: These ratings and review are personal opinion of the author(s).