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Kelly & CaL: A Striking Film You Have to See

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kelly_and_cal_xlgKelly & Cal is getting a limited run by IFC starting October 3rd. It might be hard to find in your area. I suggest googling it. If you’re in Seattle I know it’ll be playing at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Editors Note: This film is available VOD/iTunes/Amazon, etc

Ever so often a movie hits me right in the guts. Maybe it’s strictly for personal reasons. Maybe it’s because at the time I find the plot connate to my life at the time. Maybe it’s just because the movie is well written.

Kelly & Cal punched me in my guts and knocked the wind out of me a bit. The story of Kelly (Juliette Lewis) and Cal (Jonny Weston) reads a bit like the plot of Harold & Maude. That is if Harold was paraplegic high schooler, and Maude was an ex riot girl gone middle-aged housewife with a newborn at home.  This relationship is taboo really, actually quite wrong in almost anyone’s book. How can this be something worth watching?

The people who wrote and directed this are nobodies. They’ve really done nothing in the film industry of any real note. Jen McGowan’s directing honestly blows most directors right out of the water. This was her first film and she directed at least four scenes that will stick in my head for years, and one that will probably stick with me forever. Give this girl whatever she wants.

Amy Lowe Starbin who has no other film experience (according to IMDB) also deserves equal praise. Her dialogue is real, her plot is full and interesting enough it never occurs to you how simple it is. She wrote a story about an awful situation that most anyone can empathize with. You feel her characters’ loneliness, you fall into the same traps they do. You love and hate the characters, as they seem to love and hate each other. Kelly & Cal was unflinchingly humanistic.

I can’t write a review for this movie with out bringing up Juliette Lewis’ acting. She really helped sell this story and she certainly shouldn’t be ignored here (nor should her co-star Jonny Weston who’s also quite good in this). Juilette Lewis will forever be underappreciated as an actor and maybe that’s why she was perfect for the role of Kelly.

Go see this movie if you can. Buy it when it’s released on home media. Share it with your friends.

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