Alexia Rasmussen

IFC Midnight

Director/writer Zack Parker‘s plot-heavy thriller Proxy opens on Esther (Alexia Rasmussen), a young, expecting mother at her doctor’s appointment. Good news follows her down the street and into an alley where bad news finds her. She’s knocked unconscious, and her pregnant stomach is savagely attacked by someone with a brick, and it’s exactly as shocking and uncomfortable a scene as you’d expect. The entire first hour of the film relies on the pure dramatic value of this scene to keep your interest, and, to be fair, it does. It’s a challenge though as Esther’s character develops painstakingly slowly, meandering around her apartment until she finally reaches out at a support group where she meets another mother, Melanie (Alexa Havins), who has lost her son. About halfway through the film, a major plot twist reveals that the two women are alike in that they have some serious, underlying issues. The complex characters become a bit confusing, and thanks to either a few errors in continuity or possibly intentionally vague editing decisions, much of the story is muddled. Proxy is the type of film that slowly reveals answers over time, but Parker and co-writer Kevin Donner seem to have flat-out forgotten to answer some necessary questions, despite the space that the film’s two-hour running time allows.

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A man who’s down on his luck looks for redemption when a time of need arises in his life – will a new love interest save him, or will the gained love of his estranged daughter do the trick? Sounds like The Wrestler, right? We can all dream, but this scenario also describes the plot of Marshall Lewy’s California Solo, in which Robert Carlyle is the man down on this luck – a washed up rocker facing possible deportation back to the UK.  While Carlyle is effective in the lead, unlike The Wrestler, this overly derivative film never quite makes its protagonist likeable enough to root for. The film is also in desperate need of some levity to cut through its wholly depressing atmosphere. Carlyle’s not-quite-likable musician is Lachlan, a Scot who is faced with deportation after many years in the States when he is charged with a DUI. Lachlan has spent the last four years as a manager at a farm and lives a simple life – a stretch from his past as a rock star, in the band that was helmed by his now-dead younger brother. He falls in “like” with a sexy younger woman, Beau (Alexia Rasmussen), who frequents his stand at the farmers market on weekends even though she is still involved with her DJ boyfriend Paul (Danny Masterson). As he braces himself to be deported, Lachlan makes a last-ditch effort to reconnect with his ex-wife Catherine (Kathleen Wilhoite) and 14-year-old daughter Ari (Savannah Lathem) – […]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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