By Justin Waldman
Some films make your innards turn, make you squirm and give you the most uncomfortable feelings of all time. These aren’t bad things, it means the movie is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, and Palm Trees and Power Lines does exactly that. Jamie Dack both writes and directs this Feature, and while it is one of the most uncomfortable and cringiest movies that could possibly be seen it will definitely work for some audiences. However, this did not resonate with me, but I understand that this will affect people differently and it is hard to dismiss what does work within the Film.
Lea (Lily McInerny) is your typical 17-year-old girl, who is just endlessly bored with what life has handed her. She’s not interested particularly in what her friends are up to, disrespects her mother, and just kind of floats through life doing what she wants to. As she’s at a diner with some friends, trying to dine and dash, about to be caught, Tom (Jonathan Tucker) emerges and helps her narrowly escape the consequences of his actions. There is something different about Tom, Lea is drawn to him, his smooth talking and way he takes interest in her. However, something darker lurks as it usually does when a man whose in his 30s takes interest in a teenager.
Palm Trees and Power Lines is carried by its powerhouse performances from both McInerny and Tucker. They excel in their performances, shining bright throughout their screen time, with Lily starting off with her boredom being tangible and then her interest and desire to be wanted by Tom. Tucker’s performance as Tom is disturbing, in all the wrong ways. His way to smooth talk and get around her nerves is something truly monstrous. Furthering the advancement of the story and the truly despicable things that happen in this Movie, makes your stomach churn. Palm Trees and Power Lines will resonate with some audiences and make them truly feel sick to their stomach, and others will struggle to resonate and connect to these characters. Depending on where one falls on that resonation, will entirely make or break the experience for them.
Palm Trees and Power Lines screens at Sundance as follows:
Premiere screening: Jan 24th at 2:15 pm EST
Second screening: Jan 26th 10am EST (24 hours)
Award screening: Jan 29th 10am EST (72 hours)
Award screening: Jan 30th 10 am EST (48 hours)
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