Thursday, November 3, 2022

A vet returns from combat with scars

Since her breakthrough in Winter's Bone (2010), Jennifer Lawrence has become a major star and it's difficult to look at her new movie, Causeway, without being aware that she's committed herself to a narrowly focused project that's unburdened by anything resembling Hollywood glare. Lawrence plays a combat veteran whose brain was damaged when an IED exploded during her service in Afghanistan. Lawrence's Linsey returns to New Orleans where it becomes clear that her mother (Linda Edmond) hadn't been the most attentive of parents. She also has a brother whose life was ravaged by drugs. Director Lila Neugebauer's modest debut film revolves around a relationship that the emotionally scarred Lynsey forms with an auto mechanic (Brian Tyree Henry), who's carrying plenty of his own emotional baggage, including ample amounts of guilt and regret. As a gay woman, Lynsey responds to Henry's openness without having to commit to a romantic relationship which -- at least for the moment -- would be beyond her anyway. Both Lawrence and Henry are quite good with Henry creating a character who's juggling his emotions while trying to understand Lynsey, who doesn't always make it easy for him. Neugebauer utilizes New Orleans locations we don't normally see in movies. Lynsey takes a job cleaning swimming pools, which opens Neugebauer's camera to some wonderfully secluded backyards that have a nearly secretive vibe.  Hardly a knockout story but Lawrence and Henry create characters of great vulnerability and emerging need.

No comments: