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Mean Creek (2004)

Director:
Jacob Aaron Estes
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Mean Creek
RUNNING TIME
90 minutes
Producer:
Susan Johnson
Rick Rosenthal
Hagai Shaham
Screenwriter:
Jacob Aaron Estes


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Sam Merric Rory Culkin
Clyde Ryan Kelley
Marty Scott Mechlowicz
Rocky Merric Trevor Morgan
George Tooney Josh Peck
Millie Carly Schroder

 

Review

Mean Creek is the young filmmaker Jacob Aaron Estes' first feature. The film was at both the Cannes and Sundance selections and did well at the Independent Spirits award as well. Why is not too difficult to see, because the issues handled here are both universal and highly current. What is even more prominent, however, is the natural beauty of this film - both in the terms of the wonderful Oregon locations and the attention Estes gives to them, but also when it comes to the interaction and the autenticity between the kids. For half its running time, Mean Creek is extremely engaging and challenging. There's an effective, smouldering tension building and Estes' dialogue is remarkably in tune.

Unfortunately, Estes isn't as subtle when it comes to the plotting. There's a very crucial scene in a boat, in which the Mechlowicz and Peck characters are aggravating each other, that simply lets the movie down. The following sequences are unimpressive, with Estes surrendering his characters to overplotting. The conclusion of Mean Creek isn't all bad, but the film can't keep its delightful spontaneity throughout.

Copyright 29.3.2006 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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