Saturday, April 5, 2014

DIFF 2014 Review: FLUTTER - Javi's Take


Directed by: Eric Hueber
Written by: Eric Hueber
Starring: Lindsay Pulsipher, Glenn Morshower, Jesse Plemmons, and Johnathan Huth Jr.
Synopsis: A mother struggles to raise her son in a poor Texas town.

FLUTTER will play again 4/5 at 8:30 at The Angelika Dallas in theatre 7.

Given the way that Texas is portrayed in most media, it's easy to forget that there's a lot of people that are still living in poverty. It's not glamorous or cutesy, it's rough. FLUTTER deals with a single mom, Jo Lynn, trying to do her best to take care of her son that's been plagued with glaucoma all while her husband is off trying to become a touring musician. Not only is Jo Lynn barely making ends meet, with a house that's a complete mess and barely has functioning utilities, but her mother-in-law seems to think she is unfit to take care of the child.

FLUTTER is a drama through and through. It's as messy and ugly as the house that Jo Lynn and Johnathan reside in, but at the center of the movie, is the joyous imagination of Johnathan and a cute 30lb pig called WeeWee. The juxtaposition of the adult world and Johnathan's makes for a unique movie about the unconditional love between a mother and her child.

As the two leads of the movie, Pulsipher and Huth have a believable chemistry which really helps drive the movie and makes a lot of JoLynn's desperate acts to take care of her son really heartfelt. To say that this is a sad movie is an understatement. The movie pummels you with constant desperation and frustration in just how helplessness one person can feel when the entire world seems to be against you. But despite the very dark nature, this movie is about hope and perseverance that also happens to have a cute pig.

A problem with the movie are the secondary or supporting characters that revolve around JoLynn and Johnathan, namely the absentee husband, David, played by Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemmons and the in-laws. David has left to try to become a country musician by paying his dues and going to play in small bars all through Texas, and that's all you know about him. For being such a large part of the movie, you never understand why he does this, especially with the fact that his wife and kid are about to be evicted. With the in-laws, the mother in law is painted in very broad brush strokes where she just wants to get Johnathan away from JoLynn's custody but once again, you don't understand her motivation. It's like she's punishing JoLynn for her son's failures but that's never developed.

FLUTTER is a tough movie to watch that ultimately has a very positive message about a mother's unending love.

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