Tomorrow, Maybe. By Fergus Henderson.
Independent films are usually tightly budgeted affairs, often a new director’s first real stab at long form cinema. Sometimes this means that they can look so amateurish as to break your cinematic immersion and remind you that you’re watching a group of adults in front of a camera pretending to be other people.
Despite this, the basics of camera, sound, lighting, blocking etc can help smooth over the rough edges. Sometimes a film is good enough to bring you back. Sometimes. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. With Tomorrow, Maybe, unfortunately, it doesn’t. Even more unfortunately, however, is that a few of the film’s performances are acted with a strength and conviction that demands a better film than they are given.
One such is lead actor Robert Blanche, an experienced old hand who lends his character Lloyd. Lloyd, as played by Blanche, is an absent father and ex-junkie fresh out of prison imbued with a reliable, husky humanism. The other is Bethany Jacobs, as his estranged daughter Iris, victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, boozing cop Bobby (a wide eyed psycho played by Grant Davis). Jacobs adds gravity to a script done by rote that displays little interest in her character.
To the film, a domestic drama/tale of redemption. Blanche, as bad dad Lloyd, pops out of prison a clean, cheerful man, slowly reconnecting with daughter Iris. Iris, tyrannised by her irredeemably awful husband, reluctantly asks her dad for help. When Lloyd’s interventions prove ineffective, the story ups the ante with a series of previously foregrounded twists that deliver nothing in the way of drama.
Writer/director Jace Daniel has given himself several weighty, inherently dramatic subjects to get into. Almost immediately, though, the film is let down, not just by its camera work and lighting, both poor and at times distractingly bad, but by pacing which fumbles at so many points.
It is hard to pin point, but with a plot as meaty as this, scenes shouldn’t feel so weightless. Certainly nothing here should drag as much as it does. Many scenes seem to be missing either a good locus point, or a compelling structure. They just keep the plot moving, leaving it to the assorted actors to create the drama. At other times the film’s cheesier, insensitive instincts are at loggerheads with the seriousness of the material altogether.
An interesting, insightful version of this film no doubt exists, somewhere in an unseen edit. The actual film leaves much to be desired.
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