All the Days Before Tomorrow and Who Loves the Sun

All the Days Before Tomorrow is a slow, obtuse film about two kind of annoying young adults who have had a long on and off kind-of relationship. Wes is a metrosexual who we’re supposed to believe wrote a science book 7 years ago, but who seems kind of slow. Alison works in a bookstore and likes to take pictures and stay up late. She doesn’t have enough money to buy a new digital camera, but seems to have traveled extensively. The film has a good soundtrack and good production values, and it has its moments (especially Wes’s periodic dream sequences, with Richard Roundtree in a god-like role), but I would likely have done better to have chosen some other film.

Since the North American premiere was the day before, the director, cinematographer, editor, and lead actress were at the screening to answer questions. Here are a few things I wrote down:

  • The film is semi-autobiographical, not in the details, but about balance in a long-term relationship
  • Many of the filmmakers came from USC film school, and the director wrote the script in his last year there
  • They spent a lot of time on casting, but there was not much rehearsal
  • The director doesn’t like the typical audition process, and would prefer to have a meal and just talk
  • There was no storyboarding and the script had no blocking notes, so the blocking was determined on the day of the shoot
  • The actress said that the director had very specific ideas, and that there was no improvisation of the dialog
  • They tried reordering some pieces when editing, but ended up keeping it the same as the script was written
  • The director picked music he liked
  • The dreams were left cryptic, with the director wanting them to work subconsciously to clue the audience into what’s going on in Wes’s head

Who Loves the Sun is quite different. As the film opens, Will (Lukas Haas, looking more like Billy Crudup) arrives at a dock at night. He takes out a book called “Summer Babe,” and throws it into the lake in disgust. He gets picked up and brought to the home of Arthur and Mary Bloom, where Arthur tries to question him about where the heck he disappeared to for five years. Will is evasive.

The other key characters are Daniel (Arthur and Mary’s son) and Maggie (Will’s wife, played by Molly Parker). I don’t want to say much more to avoid spoiling it.

I liked the film a lot as a theatrical feeling drama, though it had a few things that held it back from being even better. The Daniel character seemed a little too over the top, even after some of the causes were uncovered. The score often seemed to be completely wrong for what was going on. And the dialog seemed a little off at times. But on the whole I was happy I saw it.

I’ll give 2 stars out of 4 stars to All the Days Before Tomorrow and 3 stars out of 4 stars Who Loves the Sun.

Seen 3/3/2007 at Cinequest.

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