BULLSHIT!! I’ll get back to this outburst later but it was something I just needed to scream at someone. Sorry, I’ll get on with the review. I guess this can be considered the first feature (it runs just over an hour) film from director Stewart Thorndike and it’s called LYLE. It’s a decent film driven by the performance of one exceptional actress, Gaby Hoffman (UNCLE BUCK). If you ever need an example of a character driven film, this is it.
Leah (Gaby Hoffman) and her wife June (Ingrid Jungermann) have found the perfect apartment in Brooklyn. They chose it carefully and decided it would be the best place for them to raise their toddler daughter (Eleanor Hopkins). Leah also happens to be pregnant with their next one but June seems to be disappointed when she finds out it’s not a boy. Leah stays at home with their child all day while June works as a producer in the record industry. Her job keeps her away from home for long periods of time, leaving Leah alone with Lyle. While at home talking to a friend on Skype, the unthinkable happens. Haunted with grief, Leah tries to get over a major loss but she’s finding it almost impossible when everyone around her seems to have grieved and moved on so quickly. None of it adds up to her and the more she investigates the more she suspects someone around her had a hand in the death. Soon, secrets are uncovered and Leah will be faced with some difficult choices to make when it comes to her safety and that of her unborn child.
Thorndike crafts a rather tense little film, allowing Hoffman to just go completely off the rails in order to deliver such a memorable performance. She’s faced with a range of emotions and she’s completely riveting. The way she expresses her paranoia, fear, love, just feels so natural for her, creating this magnetic attraction to everything she does on the screen. That’s why the wrap-up of the film just leaves you screaming for something else. Without giving anything away, when the film ends, you’re better off just yelling, “Bullshit!” It just felt rushed, ill-conceived, and a huge lackluster disappointment. Being a supporter of the LGBT and all of the rights they deserve, it’s great to see it treated on-screen as if they’re just any other couple and not used as a gimmick. Hoffman and her co-stars are fantastic in their respective roles while Thorndike weaves a thrilling tale that goes out with a bang (not an actual bang from a large handgun but more like a tiny little snap when the flag reading “bang” ejects itself from a toy gun, make sense?).