While Causeway Positioned as a narrative about the tumultuous return home from Afghanistan of an injured US Army engineer played by Jennifer Lawrence, this major television series only really blossomed after its adaptation. sneak into a balanced two-handed about the damaged find solace in each other. Brian Tyree Henry’s soulful work offers richer highlights in Lawrence’s protected stoicism and vice versa. Debut director Lila Neugebauer surrounds herself with top rookies from her New York stage background to deliver this melancholy reflection on trauma and trust, set against the sleepy backdrop of old New Orleans green.
Neugebauer has made a name for herself with popular theatrical productions over the past decade, notably her role-playing performance in Sarah DeLappe’s Wolf, about a high school girls’ soccer team; Edward Albee diptych At home at the zoo; and Tracy Letts .’s fragmented character study Mary Trang Marlowe. She made her Broadway debut with Kenneth Lonergan’s 2018 revival Waverly Gallerydirects a star-studded cast that includes Elaine May, Lucas Hedges, Joan Allen and Michael Cera.
Small but satisfying.
The sensibility, subtle moderation of melodies and masterful ensemble work that distinguish those theatrical productions are evident in the A24’s. Causeway, marking the first screenplay by acclaimed novelist Ottessa Moshfegh, co-written with newcomers Luke Goebel and Elizabeth Sanders. It’s a small-scale film that many might call unambiguous, more about subtle observation than big emotional rewards. But its human virtues should be subscribed to by Apple TV+ audiences.
Lawrence as Lindsay, a military engineer specializing in water systems, forced to undergo an arduous physical and mental rehab program because of a brain injury and impaired motor skills after her car with IEDs in Afghanistan. She receives nurturing attention from compassionate VA caregiver Sharon (Jayne Houdyshell), who warns against rushing to recover, telling her redeployment is a bad idea. But Lindsay was stubborn; she checked out earlier than advised and took the bus home to New Orleans, determined not to stay there long.
Returning to her messy home with no food, Lindsay discovers that her single mother Gloria (Linda Emond) has been sloppy on the day of her return, a sign that she is untrustworthy. Pieces of the puzzle slowly come together about an unhappy life, including the anguish of watching her brother Justin (Russell Harvard, in a single beautiful scene at the end) make life possible His messed up with drugs. All of that explains why she’s so anxious to return to military service, despite a warning from her neurologist (Stephen McKinley Henderson) that not taking her medication will put her off at high risk for seizures and chronic depression.
The film’s muted visuals could have been more interesting, but it does give a nice touch to the low-income New Orleans neighborhood where Lindsay grew up, as opposed to the more affluent parts of town. town, where she went to the clean pools to work as a placeholder.
Unlike Lindsay, who distances herself from her home and family as much as possible, the kind auto mechanic, James (Henry), with whom she builds a friendship while doing repairs. Her brother’s broken truck, still with him. family home with uncomfortable associations. The progression of their relationship is described in pleasant terms by Lawrence and Henry, as Lindsay slowly opens up about what happened to her in Afghanistan and James reveals details of an accident that left him lost a leg.
Lindsay’s pool business offers moments of relaxation, and with owners often out of town, places to hang out and escape the heat with James. The misdirection of a possible romance will be corrected with a revelation of Lindsay’s gender, seen not as a redefining of who she is but simply as an aspect. another side of her taciturn personality. She also shows signs of softening towards her cranky but caring mother in an adorable scene where they cool off together in a cheap inflatable courtyard pool.
There are no major appearances in the script and no moments of massive dramatic fireworks. But there’s a warm and trusting decline in Lindsay’s friendship with James as they bond first with a shared love of Ernie K-Doe’s classic hits and then meet each other’s needs mercilessly. intuitive, despite some troubles and misunderstandings. The emotional swing is nicely accentuated by tender electronic music from Alex Somers, a former collaborator of Sigur Rós.
Causeway marks Lawrence’s first new project after announcing that she’s been on hiatus for a year, and it’s been great to see her return to her indie roots, especially since Henry’s presence has given a boost. she started her game. He delves into ways we haven’t seen much of him since his only indelible scene in If Beale Street could talk. The chemistry between these two stellar actors, each of them quite different in style, sneaks up on you and enriches this humble drama about bruised people lowering the scene. to the point of seeking solace.
Venue: Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentation)
Distribution: A24 / Apple TV +
Production company: A24, Excellent Cadaver, IAC Films
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond, Jayne Houdyshell, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Harvard, Fred Weller, Sean Carvajal, Will Pullen, Neal Huff
Directed by: Lila Neugebauer
Screenwriters: Ottessa Moshfegh, Luke Goebel, Elizabeth Sanders
Producers: Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Ciarrocchi
Executive Producers: Lila Neugebauer, Jacob Jaffke, Sophia Lin, Patricia Clarkson, Kirk Michael Fellows, Christopher J. Surgent
Director of Photography: Diego Garcia
Production designer: Jack Fisk
Costume designer: Heidi Bivens
Music: Alex Somers
Editors: Robert Frazen, Lucian Johnston
Actor: Ellen Chenoweth
R-rated, 1 hour 34 minutes