After two unsuccessful pregnancies, Davie Nance has found little joy in the world. That is until Clay Arrendal moves in next door. Crystal River is the brainchild of its star, Emily Carpenter.
Carpenter wrote and produced “Crystal River” as well and beyond the magic on-screen, the film’s
triumph is her success getting a movie from the heart made in Hollywood on her terms. Her moving film arrives on DVD May 13.
The storyline follows Davie, portrayed by Carpenter, as she comes to terms with two miscarriages and the strain its put on her marriage. Carpenter’s character seems to find no hope in the
world and to be wallowing in her sorrow when Clay (Sean Patrick
Flannery) moves next door to her Georgia home.
They begin a friendship that explores the issues surrounding a married person’s befriending the opposite sex. In what may be a platonic and needed camaraderie for Clay and Davie at this point
in their lives, societal rules and talking townies could cause ripples in reputations, marriages and friendship.
Carpenter uses the metaphor of a river bending in two directions and how each fork in the flowing water is a choice that dictates all our lives’ path. Equally charming and humorous,
“Crystal River” is perfectly fit for debut on DVD. It’s intimacy is its greatest charm.
script goes beyond the normal ‘will they or won’t they’ to delve into the deeper elements of a companionship that fate has brought together.
“Crystal River” arrives with the tagline ‘The deeper you go, the clearer it gets.’ And through Carpenter’s rich dialogue, the story unfolds through eyes that seem to
ever-slowly remove the layers that block vision. It is with that clear sight that choices in direction as to which river to follow become much easier.
Flannery is a joy to watch, especially watching those Indiana Jones trailers lately knowing he donned the famous Fedora as the title character in “The Adventures Young Indiana Jones.”
His performance in this film is akin to the powerful drama he emitted in “Powder.” Flannery’s subtlety intense glare is made for fim
Directed by Brett Levner, he allows Carpenter’s script to do the talking and knows enough about his star (and producer) to not make the story pull harder then it already does.
Pak’s score is utterly beautiful. Utilizing a sole piano with the aide of strings, there are times his soundtrack is literally sailing over the beautiful waterway that sits at the heart of
“Crystal River.” Landing Academy Award-winning Pak to paint colors around her prose is a prize coup for Carpenter.
In Carpenter’s “Crystal River,” the most powerful lesson is not to listen to one’s heart, but instead utilize the miracle of vision. For it is only through the eyes and
first hand sight that true answers reveal themselves.
Carpenter’s film is ultimately a celebration of an actress who took the dream of putting words on page and seeing it on the silver screen to reality. It is an unfortunate rarity in
Hollywood to find women filmmakers — such as Joey Lauren Adams — who with the power
of acting behind them are able to craft a piece of art that stands for who they are as artists above all else.