Broken Diamonds

Broken Diamonds
Running time:90 minutes
Director:Peter Sattler
Release date:00 0000

Mulder's Review

"No other film has dealt with the topic of schizophrenia like BROKEN DIAMONDS does - this film makes it real. Everyone has had some kind of experience with someone they know or close to them that has a form of mental illness. In addition to being entertaining, the goal is to have this film break the stigma of mental illness by showing the truth behind it. The film encourages people to be more understanding about this illness, and to realize that when it comes to schizophrenia there are no antagonists, only victims. "Peter Sattler

Upon discovering the film Broken Diamonds, which had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on April 1, 2021, FilmRise was immediately struck by the excitement of the film and the reason for its worldwide distribution rights, as it is one of our favorites of the festival.

From the very first scene of the film in which we discover the main character Scott Weaver (Ben Platt) in his car practicing French on an audio cassette, the tone is set. Broken Diamonds will not only be a dramatic comedy, but above all a film that reveals our current times. However, after celebrating his farewell party at work and preparing for his plan to move to Paris to become a writer, things don't turn out the way they should. His stepmother Cookie (Yvette Nicole Brown) calls to inform him that his father has died in his sleep and that Scott must pick up his sister Cookie and come see the body before the crematorium arrives. Scott will have to reconsider his future and get to know his sister and the many difficulties she creates in spite of herself.

Broken Diamonds has all the charm of the great dramatic comedies of the 80's and 90's in which these films were based on solid interpretations, intelligently written dialogues and above all succeeded in creating a real atmosphere in which the spectators could forget their personal problems and appreciate to find films which aimed at being accurate and meaningful. If Broken Diamonds works so well, it's because the script written by Steve Waverly benefits from an inspired direction by Peter Sattler and a perfect casting. For his second film after the excellent The Guard (2014) that we could discover during the American Film Festival of Deauville and with the main female lead Kristen Stewart, the director changes genre completely and almost seven years after his first film shows that he is a director with a really new look on cinema.

In Broken Diamonds we find in the two main roles Ben Platt (The Hit girls (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), A Day in the Life of Billy Lynn (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk) (2016), Drunk Parents (2019)) and Lola Kirke (the Mozart in Jungle series (2014-2018), Gone girl (2014), Mistress America (2015), Gemini (2017), Barry Seal: American Traffic (2017), Lost Girls (2020). This excellent duo gives the film all its strength and especially works wonderfully. In the difficult role of a schizophrenic Lola Kirke delivers a remarkable interpretation as was that of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1989). The comparisons between this cult film by Barry Levinson and Broken Diamonds are numerous and above all show us how a film should not be an outpouring of garish special effects but above all marked by a remarkable interpretation and a director capable of simply mastering his film. Certainly Peter Sattler has imposed himself with his first film as a gifted director and his second film easily confirms our statements.

It is easy to understand the director's desire to break the stigma of mental illness by showing the truth behind it. Steve Waverly's screenplay points out that we must be more understanding and take a step back from this illness that brings characters to suffer as much as they can be different and sometimes dangerous (as the fire scene in Scott's apartment shows). Broken diamonds imposes itself by its emotional strength as a great film about family, about compassion but also about forgiveness. To say that the actress Lola Kirke shines on the screen is an understatement, she asserts herself with this film as a great actress whose future projects we will follow with interest.

Broken Diamonds
Directed by Peter Sattler
Produced by Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Rachel Smith, Trina Wyatt
Executive Producers: Ellen Schwartz, Jon Schumacher
Written by Steve Waverly
Starring Ben Platt, Lola Kirke, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alphonso McAuley, Lynda Boyd, Chad Willett, Amanda Fix
Music by Keegan DeWitt, Dabney Morris
Cinematography : Bryce Fortner
Edited by Robert Hoffman
Production companies : Black Label Media
Distributed by FilmRise (USA)
Release date : April 1, 2021 (SBIFF)
Running time : 90 minutes

Seen on April 02, 2021 (SBIFF)

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