#REVIEW: “LIGHT OF MY LIFE”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
In Casey Affleck’s directorial debut LIGHT OF MY LIFE, we eventually learn, without ever really know how or why, that a global plague had wiped out the female population. This knowledge helps the audience understand the movie’s opening – an overlong, uncut scene of a father (played by Affleck) and eleven year-old daughter (Anna Pniowsky) facing each other in sleeping bags as he tells her a made up fairy tale with tones of Noah’s ark. Affleck is all twitchy and Stanislavski method-y whereas his daughter, nicknamed Rag, reacts with intelligence and spunk. With her badly chopped-off hair making her look like a young boy for safety precautions, Pniowsky reminded me of Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon. Once they step outside their tent, we are overwhelmed by the beauty of the forest they are in, which was filmed in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. Here is where, as a Director, Affleck shines. The landscape is magnificently-filmed. It is the Script (which Affleck also wrote) where LIGHT OF MY LIFE fails.
Essentially, this is a father and daughter survival tale against the unknown and insurmountable odds. But one never understands the reasoning behind it. There is no depth; there’s a lot of lecturing from the father and a lot of running away from potential and perceived threats. It’s not really a horror story, though there is one particularly grisly scene of the remains of a mother and daughter found in a barn. Every time this duo is found by a stranger in the woods or in town getting supplies, the father and daughter look for a new hiding place as he thinks their discovery will lead to murder – but I was never sure who thought they wanted to kill – the father or the daughter. They ultimately wind up at his grandfather’s old home in the snow covered mountains, where 3 elderly men have been living in for four years and seem to have an abundance of food in the middle of nowhere. However, this final act of the movie shocks and fascinates.
At just under two hours, LIGHT OF MY LIFE meanders and, quite frankly, is just boring. Despite the stunning Cinematography, a most welcomed cameo from Elisabeth Moss and the incredible impressive performance by the young and talented Anna Pniowsky, it goes nowhere. Very slowly at that.
Elevation Pictures release LIGHT OF MY LIFE Friday, August 9, 2019.