Edited, written & directed by Francesco Lucente
Produced by Olimpia Lucente & Jörg G. Numann
Cinematography by Carlo Varini
Music by Ludek Drizhal
Released by Copex
USA. 165 min. Rated R.
With Jamie Draven, Grace Fulton, Vinessa Shaw, Chandra West & Joe Morton
[Article originally appeared: http://www.film-forward.com/badland.html]
In “Gone Baby Gone”, Ben Affleck’s recent directorial debut and foray in histrionics, we are schooled in the statistics of child abductions. It’s as though offering this data somehow justifies making the audience sit through the movie. In order to compensate for the film’s lack of depth or character development, we instead get some numbers tossed on the screen or published in the press materials. Then wham bam, you have a serious issues-oriented film all dolled up for Oscar consideration.
I can tell when I’m being hoodwinked. And the distinct odor of lazy film making has never been so transparent as it is in Francesco Lucente’s “Badland”. Even the movie’s title is derivative. At the start, we are introduced to Jerry (British actor Jamie Draven who played the older brother in “Billy Elliot”), an Iraq War veteran, who has not been adjusting so well to life back at the Wyoming trailer home he shares with his pregnant wife, Nora (Vinessa Shaw), their two sons, and young daughter, Celina (Grace Fulton). They struggle with bills and barely make ends meet while a depressed Jerry works in a nowhere job at a local gas station. The first 15 minutes are filled with Jerry and Nora fighting in front of their kids, tossing the ‘F’ word around like a tennis ball. Why they hate each other so much yet procreate at such a pace is never really explained, nor are Jerry’s nose bleeds. Continue reading