I'm fresh from the LA premiere of Jen McGowan's breakout feature-length film entitled Kelly and Cal.

This was a shoe-in for me I guess because I was hooked from the moment after I took in the trailer.

Being a product of the 90s and a Juliette Lewis fan (probably of her on stage even more so than on screen, well except for Natural Born Killers of course), I was excited to see the film after crossing paths with the director on twitter.  Juliette Lewis’ performance was the entire package in this film.  Dramatic, funny, inspiring, sexy and flawed all rolled up into a character whom I won’t soon forget.  I arrived at Arena Cinema in Hollywood a little late and the film was already about 10 minutes in by the time I made into a seat; upon which time I was promptly blown away by Jonny Weston’s riveting presence on screen!  Which was just a precursor to the intoxicating chemistry between Lewis and Weston that would be a constant through the remainder of the film.  I was also inspired by the filmmaking.

The dynamic between Lewis and her on-screen husband played by Josh Hopkins was paced very intentionally, which made for a great treat toward the end of the film as the characters’ journeys and perspectives shifted.  The film’s cinematography was right up my alley as well.  An easy, rather flat color profile and lots of natural human-held camera work aided in the journey for me alongside a brilliant cast. Did I mention that Sybil Shepard is also in the film?  This cast was absolutely born to come together for this film. They were all truly perfect to watch, for me at least. I’m glad I’m getting a chance to catch rising talents like Weston and McGowan as they emerge.  Yes, it’s great to support independent film; but you should see this film simply because it’s really f*cking good! The film is playing in select theaters and available via video-on-demand services.

Here’s a treat from my own personal archives of Juliette & The Licks doing “20 Year Old Lover” circa 2008.  Yes it’s a fitting title, I know.  If you look closely enough you might find yours truly manning a camera from near the drum riser.  Enjoy.

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