In Our Nature
In a well-appointed country house in upstate New York, writer/director Brian Savelson carves out a Chekhovian landscape. Seth (Zach Gilford) has brought Andie (Jena Malone) there for the first time, expecting to use the quiet weekend to propose. He didn’t anticipate the arrival of his contentious father Gil (John Slattery), accompanied by girlfriend Vicky (Gabrielle Union). It’s a deceptively simple setup that could easily be played as farce: Brooklyn youth culture (activist, musician, vegan) versus the Manhattan establishment (corporate, highbrow, gourmet). Instead, Savelson allows this finely tuned quartet to find their groove, framing different pairings in widescreen images that capture the nuance of their interplay. Conversations are halting and revelatory, tackling the difficulties of compromise and reconciliation, with humor injected into the gravitas. Sitting on his childhood twin beds, Seth refuses to show Andie the engagement ring, as they dance around the subject of their future. This tender, funny scene displays their individual traits (he’s sullen and stubborn, she’s cheery and comforting) while exposing both the fissures in their relationship and its solidity. In Our Nature, Brian Savelson’s accomplished first feature, shows how a rarely used vacation house can help define the value of home.
Review by Serena Donadoni
Released on December 7, 2012
Originally appeared in Indiewire.
In Our Nature is available on Fandor