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LAFF Review AND THEN THERE WAS EVE

2017
Directed By: Savannah Bloch
Starring: Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, John Kassir, and Anne Gee Byrd



Alyssa (Nolan) wakes up to find her home pillaged and her husband missing. The burglars have taken everything, down to the photos of her husband. The police offer little help so she turns to a friend of the family Eve (Crowl) for assistance. The film is less of a "who done it" and more of a "what happened."

The prolonged second act of the film focuses on the relationship between Eve and Alyssa. The suspense of the film lingers in the background while their relationship grows. In fact, clues of what is to come are clearly laid out in a way that allows the viewer to see where the film is headed before it gets there. I'm not sure if this is by design but the effect of having the stories trajectory clearly laid out gives the audience permission to accept this blossoming relationship.

Nolan and Crowl both give stunning performances that anchor the film deeply in humanity. Crowl has a charming ease that elevates the film to something truly special. Her Eve is never allowed to be a caricature. I don't want to get into the specifics of how this is relevant to the film as not to spoil anything, but most filmmakers and actors would have made choices to play her one-note, lacking complexity. Allowing Eve to be a fully realized human is enough to set this film apart.

There is a scene early in the film where Eve offers support to Alyssa after her in-laws have turned their backs on her. It’s hard not to believe in these two. They clearly need each other but have no idea how to ask, or in fact what to ask for. The scene, on its surface, is simple but it’s a crucial moment that if handed to lesser actors would not have carried the weight it required. Here is where the film reveals itself and the audience is asked to follow Eve and Alyssa on their journey.

Robert Lydecker composed an impressive Jazz score for the film that gives it a classic feeling. It falls somewhere between Breathless and Taxi Driver in terms of its sonic quality. Both romantic and nerve racking the score allows our characters to shift between paranoia and elation.

AND THEN THERE WAS EVE is a film about loss and acceptance. While the film might not resonate with many viewers when it comes to their direct experiences, I have a feeling most people will see some version of themselves on screen. Although an important film, it should be noted, this is a well-made film, deserving of our time.

Apparently I'm not alone in my assessment of AND THEN THERE WAS EVE as it has taken away the Jury Award for LA MUSE at this years LAFF. Put this film on your radar and check it out as soon as you can.






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