Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"The Cold Lands": an orphaned boy, trying to make it on his own, is "raised" by a drifter who grows up himself


The Cold Lands” (2013, directed by Tom Gilroy) sounds eclectic enough, as a 12-year-old boy Atticus (same character name as “Mockingbird”) tries to make it on his own after his mother dies, and becomes the pal, quasi-son of a local drifter.   But I’m not sure what this all comes to.

The mom Nicole (Lili Taylor) raises her son in the Catskills in New York State, and tries to teach Atticus (Silas Yelich) to be self-reliant, not too dependent on his gadgets and computer games.  There’s an early discussion where he asks her if animals know they will die.  But mom has juvenile diabetes, and it doesn’t seem very well controlled.  She dies abruptly, under murky circumstances.  And the boy seems to want to stay away from Child Protective Services.

He meets a local hippy Carter (Peter Scanavino) and the two become a kind of tag-team, and Carter becomes a bit of a father figure, even if there is a little petty crime and marijuana along the way. Carter is appropriately desperate; he has no money (but somehow he gets gas). 
  
The film, curious, is dropping off Netflix instant play soon. The film can be rented for $2.99 from Cinedigm. 

The soundtrack has some classical music, which I could not follow when the credits rolled on Netflix thumbnail; one excerpt sounded like it came from the Mendelssohn "Reformation" Symphony. 
  
  
The Facebook site is here. The film was a selection at the Berlin Film Festival.

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