THE SAME STORM
Peter Hedges (BEN IS BACK, PFF27) brings together a first-rate cast to tell the interwoven stories of dozens of people facing the challenges of our modern times.
Inventively filmed during lockdown, THE SAME STORM is an ambitious, open-hearted response to the upheavals of 2020. Taking loose inspiration from the classic structure of the 19th-Century play La Ronde, the film consists of interlocking vignettes, usually featuring one character who also appears in the next sequence. But in this quarantine-era production, each vignette consists of a video call, often recorded on a phone or tablet. We watch as families divide across political lines while trying to hold together their parental love. Lovers quarrel about the impact of race on their relationships. Parent-teacher conferences build unusual tensions when done from home. Funerals take unexpected turns over Zoom. In the hands of any other filmmaker, these narratives might feel weighty and “too soon,” but with Hedges at the helm, they are handled with such humor and humanity that we are enwrapped in the mini dramas. Reminiscent of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts which drew upon the writing of Raymond Carver, THE SAME STORM finds the nuggets of relatability through tiny glimpses of the lives of ordinary people. The result is a collection of tour-de-force performances, elegantly brought together to create a moving, insightful group portrait of our modern history.
CAST: Sandra Oh, Mary-Louise Parker, Elaine May, Noma Dumezweni
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