Title: South Mountain
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Hilary Brougher
Starring: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols
Runtime: 1 hour 53 minutes
What It Is? Set in their tranquil mountain home in the Catskills, when her husband reveals he’s in love with someone else, a woman attempts to deal with the news in whatever ways she can.
What We Think? South Mountain is a quiet, intimately performance driven drama that follows a woman named Lila (Talia Balsam) dealing with a terrible blow that’s been dealt to her and her family. Interestingly, her reaction is comparable to the stages of mourning. It’s not a pretty process for Lila either, as she struggles with denial, and anger, that spills out with varying results. This character and her issues are well portrayed by Balsam, who really does all she can, but I kind of felt that there was something a bit off with how the character was shown… I didn’t feel able to form as much of a connection with Lila as a viewer. Her internal world is not shown to the audience… it feels a bit like watching blind. Technically speaking, the rest of the movie is quite muted as well, the music is subtle, beautiful, and imbibed with a dash of melancholy. Fitting quite well with the isolated setting of a gorgeous, tucked away family home.
Our Grade: B-, I didn’t find this to be a particularly amazing film. It’s certainly not bad, but a bit too reserved in my opinion. Maybe if I’ve gone through something similar to the film, it would hit much harder, but without that, I couldn’t connect. However, overall I do appreciate where it went with its protagonist’s responses to the painful situation she’s been put through. Peaceful and ugly, it was all shown as she went through her emotional journey. What really makes the film is the performances and portrayal of losing someone you love, and I would suggest it to anyone for that alone.