By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on March 09, 2013

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Dear Tim Webber
Craft Services

Dear Tim,

It's a well-known secret in low-budget filmmaking that if you keep the crew fed, you'll keep them happy. The same principle applies to corporate conferences, foreign wars, and basically anywhere else people don't want to be. Sure, some zealous upstarts will jump at any chance to get ahead, but there comes a point when, to attract proven talent, you need to offer something in return.

So what the hell kind of delicious meals did you prepare to attract Academy Award winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker to this movie?

The first meal they would have been fed, of course, was the script. Cloudburst is the story of two septuagenarian women in a closeted relationship. Stella (Olympia Dukakis) is your classic butch: a foul-mouthed, cantankerous, cowboy hat-wearing spinster. Her "roommate" of the past 31 years, Dot (Brenda Frick), is a the sweeter, more optimistic soul. Dot is also visually impaired, but, get this--it's her daughter Molly (Kristin Booth) who is blind to the two women's romantic relationship. The irony! So Molly tries to have her mom committed to a home and take over the family property. This leads the elderly lovers to break her out of their long-term care facility and make their way to Canada where they can legally marry. It's actually an extremely palatable story--one that I can personally relate to, having an Aunt in a similar situation.

But even though he wrote the recipe for the script (originally a stage play), director Thom Fitzgerald proves to be a huge liability behind the camera. He seems to have no clue when to let a joke simmer, when to pull out of a scene, no flare for presentation. The multiple sunset shots are painfully overcooked with yellows, the editing is sluggish, and the film suffers from a terribly weak soundtrack. It's a recipe for disaster, and often times is, but the two leads are so lip-smacking good that I was able to choke down the rest.

In fact, I'll give credit where credit is due. Fitzgerald manages to coax his dames into dildo fights, sermons on the word cunt, shitting into bidets, and faceplanting into bare ball-sacks. Even Judd Apatow couldn't get an actor to do half these things. I'm pretty sure your daily menu must have included your "special" brownies and a few magic mushrooms.

But, hey, whatever you have to do. You got the right actors to give the film a little zest, and now all you need is a better appetizer--the current trailer is seriously the worst I've ever seen.

Tipping out,


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