Can’t Wait: Julia Dyer’s ‘The Playroom’


While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

This week’s edition is a little bit of cheating, as I saw The Playroom this weekend while I volunteered at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri.  A period piece about a seventies family falling apart, the movie is highlighted by great, pained performances, especially from John Hawkes and his Deadwood costar Molly Parker as a feuding and drunken married couple (serves them right for going behind Seth Bullock’s back in a betrayal of epic proportions), and Olivia Harris as their eldest daughter; however, Dyer gets phenomenal work out of all the young actors.  A claustrophobic, one-house setting turns up the familial tension to uncomfortable levels.  It may not be a happy crowd pleaser, but it’s a well done film that the director, Julia Dyer, said will be available on Netflix, VOD, and other streaming services this February.  See it and help a talented independent filmmaker get the clout needed to continue her career; we need more people with a knack for working with actors in such a masterful way.

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