Blue Jay (2016)

After watching and really enjoying Paddleton, I decided to check out more from the Duplass brothers and Alex Lehmann. That's when I stumbled upon Blue Jay and, since it sounded interesting and the cast appealed me, I checked it out (more than a month later because I'm terrible at this). 

The film follows Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson), two high school sweethearts who meet by chance for the first time in years when they both go back to their California hometown. They seem very awkward at first as they don't have much to say to each other, but once they get to talking, and decide to spend some time at Jim's old house, they fall back into the past as if nothing has changed between them.

The story is very simple, so simple there's barely a story and the chances of it being dull were pretty high. Fortunately, Blue Jay immediately generates our interest as it's clear from the beginning that Jim and Amanda share a troubled past, and keep us engaged for its entire running time as we wait for the secret to be unveiled. In addition, it shies away from the predictable, clich├ęd romantic territory I was expecting it to fall into, as it turns out to be a very realistic, everyday kind of drama.

It's the actors though that get the job done. First of all, Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson have such strong, beautiful, magic chemistry that makes the relationship between Jim and Amanda incredibly genuine. Second, they both give great performances —Duplass he plays the role of Jim, a sensitive, normal guy, in such a natural way, Paulson plays the role of Amanda, a woman who is almost impossible to read, with so much tenderenss— and they both capture the playfulness and vulnerability of two people who used to mean the world for each other. And they are wonderful at improvising —Duplass is credited as the screenwriter but there wasn't an actual script, only a draft and he and Paulson did the rest.

The Orchard, Netflix
At last but not least there's Alex Lehmann's cinematography. It is simple and yet beautifully breathtaking, the black and white wonderfully conveys an atmosphere of nostalgia that complements incredibly well Jim and Amanda's past and present, each frame is perfect and shot in a way that it almost feels claustrophobic, as if you were stuck in the film with the characters, and enhances that feeling of intimacy that the actors bring to the screen.

6 comments :

  1. Glad you liked it. I did too and feel it is one more people need to check out. And such good chemistry between Duplass and Paulson.

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    1. True. I've been suggesting people to watch this and Paddleton so many times I lost count.

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  2. I never even heard of this story but, based o what you wrote, I will mark it down to see it

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    1. I hope you get to see it because it really deserves to be watched.

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  3. This sounds like something I'd watch. I'll have to keep an eye out for this.

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