On a chilly Saturday night, guests found warm respite at the premiere of Five Days Gone. The lobby of Brooklyn Heights Cinema was abuzz with anticipation, crowded with the fresh faces of rising stars within New York City's creative scene. Tickets for the Brooklyn Film Festival screening of writer-director Anna Kerrigan's feature film debut had sold out.

 As Five Days Gone opens, sweet Camden has discovered her recently deceased father's secret life and, forever the optimist, contacts her illegitimate half-sister. Naturally, they meet at a bar -- allowing for comic relief during what would otherwise have been a terribly awkward moment. While audacious businesswoman Alice is hesitant to become friends, she accepts her sister's invitation to take a trip with their significant others to Lionshead, the family estate in Massachusetts. During their persistent attempts to bond, underlying tensions surface and come to a head as relationships are explored, class lines exposed, and illusions shattered.

The actors demonstrate commendable ease in their roles, providing naturalistic performances. As half-sister Alice, Anna Kerrigan effectively establishes herself as a triple threat: writer, director, and actress. Unwaveringly strong, her character drives the action as she constantly questions social conventionality, providing the audience with thought-provoking perspective during the explosive ending. Brooke Bloom gives a star turn as Camden, flawlessly depicting the sensitive sister as a woman who appears picture perfect yet slowly becomes unhinged. While Camden may have been the one who found her sister, she is the one who is actually lost. Austin Lysy supplies an excellent foil to Camden as her arrogant, charismatic husband Brett while Sam Rosen bestows the film with a passionate, memorable performance as Alice's drug-addicted boyfriend, Crane. During a poignant moment dealing with Crane's hospitalization, Stockbridge Police Chief Richard Wilcox provides an enjoyable cameo.

Music by Citay is impeccably paced with the plotline; the soothing chords suit the pleasant countryside setting. The film owes much to the Berkshires and Cathy Deely's estate for providing an amazing backdrop; the beautiful cinematography is aided by the perpetual presence of fertile green lawns, floral wallpapers, and antiquated books.

Five Days Gone will remind moviegoers of films The Romantics and The Big Chill. It is sagacious and vulnerable, yet unconventionally bold -- a rather compelling combination.

 

Showtime: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 9PM  |  Brooklyn Heights Cinema

Director Anna Kerrigan will be available for Q&A after the screening.

To purchase tickets, visit: www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/films/detail.asp?fid=1175

Official film website: www.fivedaysgone.com