“Anne at 13,000 ft” is a Canadian mumblecore drama that plunges us into a very turbulent time span in the life of an emotionally fragile young woman as she struggles to cope with various stresses. As the plot descriptions go, I realize that the previous sentence won’t serve as an attention grabber for the most part, and I totally understand if you’d prefer to skip for the more familiar ones like “Cinderella” or “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” ” However, if watching a simple portrait of someone struggling through a personal crisis with a lack of refreshing cheesy melodrama sounds appealing, well, that’s what director Kazik Radwanski delivered with undeniable results.
Anne (Deragh Campbell) is a young woman who works at a daycare center and when we first saw her, we couldn’t help but think that she was indeed the right person for the job; he threw himself into it with all the excitement and enthusiasm that was negligent of his accusations. The problem is that he gets too into the whole aspect of the game and tends to forget about his real responsibilities as an adult in the room, which leads him into regular conflicts with the other teachers. Outside of class, we see her as a shy, socially awkward person who has little personal connection—especially with her mother (Lawrene Denkers) and Matt (Matt Johnson), the man she recently dated after drunkenly meeting her at a coworker’s wedding—in a few different things. While the film never specifically says anything about it, it’s clear that Anne suffers from some social anxiety that can turn even the most friendly situation or conversation into ruin.
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At the beginning of the period of time in Anne’s life that makes up the film (a few weeks or so), Anne attends the wedding and one of the bachelorette party activities involves tandem skydiving. To most people who have wisely never done anything like that before, the idea of jumping out of an airplane may not seem like the most relaxing activity, but it does seem to open up something inside of him beyond the desire to jump again. Although he has been largely able to keep his issues under control, he is now unable to reconcile the sense of freedom and abandonment he feels in the air with the more controlled aspects of adult life and this leads to increasingly erratic behavior on his part.
Since Anne works with children, there is a disturbing feeling that the film will try to complicate Anne’s problem for a cheesy melodrama by setting one of her students in danger. Thankfully, Radwanski isn’t interested in giving us the kind of empty-headed thriller that throws anything character-related out the window to focus on plot intrigue. a central character with problems of social interaction, more so. interested in giving us character studies of the types of people we might all know. Radwanski makes viewers see the world from their point of view in a way that prioritizes empathy over judgment, even as Anne crosses some serious lines of behavior.
Uniting the entire film is Campbell, who is in every scene and who is tasked with discovering the strengths and weaknesses of Anne’s state of mind and bringing it to the fore in a way that accurately represents herself to viewers without causing them to run for office. hills. From start to finish, her performance is the kind of high-wire action that can get in the way of most actors because if she misses a bit in how she represents Anne and her complexities, things can fall apart. Her work here is remarkable in how she balances the vulnerable and sympathetic aspects of Anne’s personality—the parts that attract others to her at first—with her tendency to push things too far and then insist that she’s just kidding. Some of these scenes make you wince—perhaps most painfully, Anne visits her family with Matt in tow,
“Anne at 13,000 feet” isn’t exactly perfect—the skydiving swagger, though deftly handled, may be a little too in the nose and lead to a final shot that isn’t nearly as mysterious as Radwanski might have meant. Moreover, despite running for a relatively few 75 minutes, the film’s journey is so intense and hurtful at points that even those who admired it in the end
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