Thursday, March 30, 2017

[Review] Mean Dreams

With shades of Jeff Nichols' Mud and David Gordon Green's Joe, Nathan Morlando's Mean Dreams is a crime thriller and coming-of-age tale of young love in Middle America.

New faraway-neighbors Jonas (Josh Wiggins) and Casey (Sophie NĂ©lisse) both come from troubled households, with parents that are either abusive or just worn down by the hard farm life. After growing fond of each other, Jonas and Casey decide to run away together with plans to never look back. But of course things don't quite go as planned.

It's a familiar story, but it certainly isn't run-of-the-mill. The picture's lush cinematography greatly captures the wind-kissed textures of rural scenery--swaying fields, forgotten trees, and cloudy skies that seem to shift with the mood of the story. Wiggins and NĂ©lisse really drive the film as strong leads, gaining our sympathy from the get-go. The late Bill Paxton, in one of his final roles, gives a scary-good performance as a crooked cop and Casey's despicable, aggressive alcoholic father.

Mean Dreams sees two young souls in search of something better out of last straws and pure desperation. Chases ensue and bullets fly, as Jonas and Casey go from walking on eggshells to looking over shoulders. So don't let the straight-to-VOD label fool you, this is a gripping getaway.

( 7.5/10 )

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