Monday, August 26, 2013

The Oxbow Cure

The Oxbow Cure is reminiscent of some Bergman dramas (The Passion of Anna): the characters retreat to a remote location, private fears are openly discussed, and the heavy existential themes are represented visually through the harsh weather.

It’s about a woman Lena, who has a spinal injury, and she leaves the city for a remote cottage, to treat her illness. There she starts a routine that includes exercises, walks, and cooking. She’s in touch with her father, who is hospitalized, and is dying. One night, she hears barking; following the noise she finds a trapped dog that she rescues.

The performance by Claudia Dey is exceptional; appearing both vulnerable and persistent as she treats her illness, and fearless as she walks through the forest. These scenes are filmed with a hand-held camera, and are both frightening and elegiac. The noises are especially harrowing as natural sounds, like, snow crunching and wind blowing, are reminders of Lena’s fragility. And the score by Lev Lewis goes from orchestral piano and strings to a P.J. Proby songs.

The Oxbow Cure is Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis’ follow up to Amy George, which is suburb drama about a teenager with a crush on a next-door neighbor. It might appear like a grand departure, but there are still some similarities. In Amy George Jesse has a photography assignment, and The Oxbow Cure begins with Lena taking pictures at the cottage. The walks through the woods in Amy George are heightened a ten-fold in The Oxbow Cure. And similar to how Jesse was seduced by Amy in Amy George, there is a beckoning in The Oxbow Cure that needs to be seen to be believed.

I’m not going to spoil any more of its mysteries. I’ll just say that The Oxbow Cure goes into some unexpected territory, gains in ambience from a theatrical setting, and richness through multiple viewings. What are these bold filmmakers going to do next?

1 comment:

ronntenn said...

Two wonderful P.J.Proby songs in this movie. "With These Hands" & "My Prayer". You'll never hear better versions anywhere of these two classics!