|Running time:||89 minutes|
|Release date:||00 0000|
Evan Wood marks Niki Byrne's directorial debut after directing several short films (Humility (2016), Nerve (2016), 911T (2016, Freedom of Speech (2016), Solo (2017)) and a documentary The Open Book Tattoo (2020). Discovered during the Santa Monica International Film Festival (SBIFF), this first film won us over with its way of describing our current society and human relationships following the disappearance of a close person.
Rachel Wood (Charlotte Louise Spencer), a writing student in Los Angeles, finds her life turned upside down when she receives the news that her grandmother has died. Encouraged by a trusted professor, she returns home to work through the family trauma with her writing. Her return is both a source of healing and painful revelations: a romantic rebirth with an old love and, most importantly, the challenge of helping her brother as he struggles with mental health issues and addiction.
While there is nothing really innovative about such a story, it is the affected treatment that makes it so original. In this case, Alejandro Lopez, Charlotte Louise Spencer's screenplay allows the director to depict a remote area of the United States and specially to show how a traditional American family is torn apart from the inside. The script takes its time to perfectly define the characters and show the psychological wounds they have and the heavy past that links them.
Relying on the solid performance of Charlotte Louise Spencer and many other equally invested supporting characters, Evan Wood stands out as a successful independent film reminding us of the importance of being comfortable in one's own skin in order to succeed in one's work and above all to envisage one's future in the best possible way.
Directed by Niki Byrne
Produced by Alejandro Lopez, Matt Minshall, John Rodenhizer, Cheryl Jackson, Lucinda Bruce, Charlotte Louise Spencer
Written by Alejandro Lopez, Charlotte Louise Spencer
Starring Charlotte Louise Spencer, Alex Sorian Brown, Trevor Stines, Amy Walker, Michael Parr
Music by Austin Danson
Cinematography : Brooke Mueller, Lilton Stewart
Edited by Ryan Penington
Release date : April 1, 2021 (SBIFF)
Running time : 89 minutes
Seen on April 3, 2021 (SBIFF)