Most movies nowadays are shot on some kind of digital format because it's cheaper and more flexible, but, looking at this movie, I would guess that it was shot on film, film meaning actual celluloid, perhaps 16 mm. It has a graininess to it that you'd only get with film.
Using modern technology, that grainy film look can be faked, and perhaps that's what director Kim St. Leon has done. Besides the graininess, there's also a vibe and an aesthetic to this movie that makes me think this story was shot and in fact made either in the late eighties or early nineties.
If you analyze the cinematography, the editing, the art design, the style, the music or even just the subject matter of the movies made in the early 90s, as opposed to movies made in the 21st century, you'll notice a stark difference. A lot of it has to do with scope and tone. Lost Everything wants to be one of those 90s films, while essentially being a drama with noir undercurrents.
The story is centered around a movie star named Brian Brecht, played by Mark Whittington. We see him arrive on a private jet. He has a crowd of screaming fans, mostly young girls. He's put up in a fancy hotel. He has a limo waiting for him. Brian has everything and only one thing could make him lose it all.
The screenplay tackles the issue of a Hollywood actor trying to keep his homosexuality secret when tabloids and even his own boyfriend want to out him. Brian faces this dilemma during a Miami trip. In light of the fact that this past year saw a well-known actor, Zachary Quinto, reveal that he's gay, this story has some resonance. The ending though is pretty ridiculous, but the overall tone makes the movie feel so grounded.
The acting, the pacing, the mood as expressed through the lighting, the minimal musical score, as well as the editing make this entire film feel very grounded. Ironically, never did it seem like a gay film. In what might be considered an attempt to "mainstream" this movie, the story is counter-balanced with two other story lines, one of which involves a straight couple.
These other story lines are at times tense and at other times beautiful. We're not sure how they'll intersect with the main story of the closeted movie star, but these intersections are nicely done. What I liked is how St. Leon and the editor cross-cut between the story lines in a parallel fashion to mirror emotions.
Often times, cross-cutting will be used as a contrast, but here it's not meant to show you opposing forces. It's meant to show you parallel and similar forces. This is done with a sex scene, which is done to the great effect of heightening the inherent passion in both places. It's done again to the effect of heightening the pending threats, one a mortal threat and the other a mental one.
This direction though is buttressed with some solid performances, namely from Whittington who plays the main protagonist in what is essentially an ensemble piece. Leif Holt who plays Christian Holman, a young man like Brian who's also struggling with his issues of homosexuality. Holt is actually more impressive with his silences than his line readings. Avery Sommers who plays Danielle Washington is also quite impressive. Sommers is like a mix of CCH Pounder and Pam Grier but somehow more fierce.
Five Stars out of Five.
Not Rated But Recommended for Mature Audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 37 mins.
Available at Breaking Glass Pictures.