After a horrible accident she causes leaves her sister paralyzed, Sandy must make amends with her family while confronting an unknown and dark past.
Directed by: Gabrielle Muller.
Starring: Kaye Tuckerman, Laura Sampson Hemingway, Natalia Ortonowska, Mitchell Wray, Harry Holmes, Richard Waddingham, Mia Campisi, Blaise Nally, Ransom Pugh, Lec Zorn.
Country: United States.
Running time: 80 minutes.
Deep within the dark corners of low class America, lies a collection of truths, testimonials and wishes, that’s not often heard. It’s one of the dark sides of a country that also holds broken dreams, unserved justice, and false freedom of choice. In this underworld of unspeakable truth Crossroads of America takes place, an adaptation of one of many stories that haven’t been told. Films are optimistic by nature, the formula is oriented towards that. However, some of them depend solely on how the viewer can resolve a horrible equation of truth and reality that’s there to see behind the concrete walls of progress and hope. At the end optimism is a choice.
A plot consisting of many unrevealed stories:
Gabrielle Muller‘s presentation of low class America is raw, gritty and filled with tragedy. It tells the story of Sandy, Glenda, Ellie and Carlos, a poverty stricken family that’s suffered the horrible blow of an accident. A drunk driving one that left Ellie in a wheelchair and Sandy in an everlasting scrutiny. Glenda is their mother that seeks fame in an inconvenient manner, and Carlos is the small son. In this messy nucleus of abandonment, and hopelessness, and anger, a past is hidden. The surreal tone of some flashbacks hold the truth of this family. If I got the message right, then there are hundreds of stories in that household, and Sandy’s theme of repression is key to understand what drove them there.
The importance of structure:
Crossroads of America is not your typical melodramatic flood. Its structure is not even. As a result, it serves as a fine collection of characteristics and witness statements that can form a story. The main figures are just part of an organic ecosystem of social inconsistencies. Sandy’s evolutionary attitude is revealing and driven to showcase a fantastic performance by Laura Sampson Hemingway; her physicality is mind blowing and her expression is filled with legitimacy. However, Mueller’s direction is also consistent with disclosing the importance of the backdrop. Glenda’s testimonies, even if they’re not traditional, are clear. In conclusion, it’s hard not to imagine some stories of what happened before the events in the movie. Whatever I came up with, I prefer to never think of them again.
The hypnotizing nature of a film that feels real:
Mueller doesn’t even recur to a desperate measure of saying the film is based or inspired by true events. She understands audiences and knows how to shoot a film that can cause impact due to its rawness. Therefore, she makes sure the film is authentic and honest, without twisting the events in search of a happy ending. There’s no way things will drastically change for this family. Their expectations and positivism lie in a marginal backyard where the sun dramatically changes the setting. In a final sequence, there’s a meager chance of recognition by themselves. A handheld camera serves as the only partner for Sandy in this horrible world. She tries and tries to look barely pretty. She instantly loses confidence and angrily shuts off the camera. In that split second, the audience can finally rest and take a big breath and start living again in a world where this reality is not often recognized. A world where people like Sandy are easily forgotten, if they were ever acknowledged.