‘No Alternative’: Film Review


Author-director William Dickerson’s very private household drama, set through the grunge-era ’90s, goes to some unconvincingly squeamish locations.

It is the 1990s in upstate New York. Kurt Cobain not too long ago dedicated suicide and highschool senior Thomas Harrison (Conor Proft) needs to observe within the Nirvana frontman’s footsteps by forming a grunge band. His artistic endeavor considerably relieves him of the upcoming pressures of faculty, and likewise steels him towards some very potent household drama. Thomas’ dad, William (Harry Hamlin), is a choose who has been focused by a number of members of the neighborhood after one in all his selections (granting a risky defendant bail) resulted in a homicide. And Thomas’ teenage sister, Bridget (Michaela Cavazos), who has been on psychotherapeutic medication since she was eight years outdated, is a Prozac Nation poster youngster very near going off the rails.

Although No Different, which is premiering June seventh on the Dances with Film pageant in Los Angeles, initially appears to be Thomas’ story, Bridget slowly assumes a narratively outstanding place. It seems she has a musical expertise all her personal and, within the movie’s funniest and most profitable scenes, she performs within the native espresso home as a self-consciously confrontational hip-hopper named Bri Da B. Very similar to the artwork types to which the 2 siblings have devoted themselves (grunge within the descent, gangsta rap within the ascent), Thomas and Bridget are on rough-and-tumble paths that would simply as simply result in triumph as tragedy.   

The fundamentals of this story really feel very lived in, so it is no shock to find that writer-director William Dickerson tailored No Different from his personal 2012 novel, which was a fictionalized paean to his grunge band years, in addition to a tribute to his sister, Briana (who additionally carried out as a rapper named Bri Da Ba), and her struggles with prescription drug dependancy and psychological sickness. Two years after the e book was revealed, Briana died of an overdose which may very effectively have been intentional, so Dickerson, as he explains on the movie’s IndieGoGo web page, conceived the variation as a method “to destigmatize the struggles of people that undergo [from mental illness].” Good intentions and all. But the film takes on some fairly queasy issues due to the massive diploma to which the filmmaker prizes issue-based agitprop over intuitive storytelling.

Briefly, Dickerson’s magnanimous themes about psychological sickness come first and the drama he concocts barely helps them. There are lots of coming-of-age story perennials, akin to a pair of affection pursuits — a youthful, not-so-virginal-as-she-seems girlfriend (Chloe Levine) for Thomas and an older, Sarah Lawrence-attending beau (Logan Georges) for Bridget — who provoke their companions in various methods, and a climactic contest (right here a low-rent battle of the bands) meant to bestow some measure of cathartic approbation on these concerned.

Proft and Cavazos do their finest with hole characters who primarily exist as an example the purpose that mania and melancholy do not discriminate. Even somebody seemingly well-adjusted, like Thomas, could be wallowing in a desolate abyss. However they by no means look like something aside from one-dimensional constructs, one thing particularly evident after the movie takes a very upsetting flip about three-quarters of the way in which in that looks like squeamish wish-fulfillment on Dickerson’s half. It is a semi-sacrificial gesture meant to honor and immortalize his sister. However on this trifling context, it comes off as shamelessly misguided and nauseating.    

Manufacturing Corporations: LeGrand Productions
Forged: Michaela Cavazos, Conor Proft, Chloe Levine, Kathryn Erbe, Harry Hamlin, Matthew Van Oss, Aria Shahghasemi, Eli Bridges, Logan Georges, Deema Aitken, Brendan Dooling
Director: William Dickerson
Writers: William Dickerson, Dwight Moody
Producer: Carrie LeGrand
Co-Producers: Shalaina Fortress, Liam McKiernan, Blake Barrie
Line Producer: Anna Skrypka
Govt Producers: Brud Fogarty, CJ Kirvan, James Andrew O’Connor, Troy Gregory
Director of Images: Robert Kraetsch
Manufacturing Designer: Callen Golden
Costume Designer: Nikia Nelson
Editor: Natasha Bedu
Authentic Songs: Latterday Saints, Bri Da B
Authentic Rating: MJ Mynarski
Casting: Judy Bowman 

97 minutes




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