Outside In

Director: Lynn Shelton
Year Released: 2017
Rating: 1.0

Married high school English teacher Carol (Edie Falco), who helped to free former student Chris (Jay Duplass) from prison for a 'crime he didn't commit' has a relationship (of sorts) with him once he's out of prison (he thinks he's in love with her) ... and he also pals around with her artistically-inclined daughter Hildy (Kaitlyn Dever), although that is strictly platonic. The mood of this is oppressively gloomy and distancing, so you can never get a real feel for the characters: it's a depressing film at its core, filled by unhappy people just hanging around their gray neighborhoods or feeling sorry for themselves (it glazes over the details of the crime Chris was 'involved in'). Surely an actress of Ms. Falco's stature deserved a script with a lil' bit more complexity, but there she is, struggling to make the most out of a dead-end set-up with those frowns and grimaces. If anyone in this shows any promise of 'making it' it's Hildy, whose colorful installations (all that tape! and those Q-Tips!) should land her in the art world sooner than later....