Anns Juniper, Mack (Madison Lawlor) declines to her family’s cabin on the anniversary of her sister’s death, seeking some time alone for reflection. However, a lonely visit from her best friend Alex (Decker Sadowski) and Alex’s friend Dylan (Olivia Blue) puts an end to her loneliness. Before long, Alex’s brother Riley (Jacob Nichols) and best friend Cole (Adam Rodriguez) also show up. Tension arises as the group struggles with different ways of dealing with grief, recalling different memories of the past, causing long-buried mysteries to be revealed. bring to the surface.
Director and co-writer Katherine Dudas has made a strong foray into the mumblecore genre, citing the Duplass brothers as an influence. The film is about a 20-something inner life that was told almost exclusively through conversation. It was created during the pandemic when one of the actresses, Olivia Blue, came up with the concept and called her friends and co – stars star and Dudas, with whom she worked. before, to direct. The group raised $ 74,000 through crowdfunding and, with that small budget, they have been able to remove production that looks and feels like one of several more expensive orders.
“…the group is struggling different ways to deal with grief… ”
Where Juniper There are excels in the performances, especially of the top three. One of the hardest things to pull off in a low-budget independent film is finding engaging directors who can shine on screen and carry the story. Lawlor, Blue, and Sadowski are attractive, and they all go through the emotional gamut from a cheerful smile to tears to anger. Each character has their own unique look, even though their look is hidden at first, and they are all completely sure and strong to look at. It is particularly impressive that the communication and delivery work so well that most scenes have been prepared. The group worked out the plot through Zoom sessions during the pandemic, and the leaders share writing credit with the director.
I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but it was obvious that some of the funniest lines are coming off the camera. The director said she wanted the emphasis not on the actors to be funny right now but to focus on the intensity of the emotional journey. Given that their budget was only for a few ideas for each scene, it’s easy to understand that there were a few punch ups in the edit. I would prefer the inner lines there than the outer ones.
Juniper there are distinct sequences in which characters begin in one place and end in a completely different one after a series of revelations. Some of those moments could go hand in hand with Hollywood movies with a big budget in which professional actors lived entirely. This is especially impressive as this is the first feature of some of the actors. The editing by Dudas and Michelle Botticelli is particularly tight – the film showers at 72 minutes, and there is no fat left to cut. Each scene further enhances the plot or develops the characters better.