At Home, BluRay/DVD Reviews

THE FRONTIER (KINO/Lorber)

By • Jan 7th, 2017 •

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BluRay review by Roy Frumkes

Director Oren Shai says that Jocelin Donahue ‘is cinema.’ You’ll know what he means when you see the KINO release of THE FRONTIER. The camera loves her, the editing dwells on her, + she’s a good actress who carries the noir currents of the narrative to their combustive conclusion and then watches all hell break loose. Surrounding her with fine support are Kelly Lynch (she makes a comic improv decision toward the end which is much lauded on the commentary track), Jim Beaver (menacing), Izabella Miko (her scene on the bench with Jocelin late in the story is one of the film’s best – certainly her best) and Jamie Harris (man, what a chameleon!). Ms. Lynch is at that point in her career, like Kellyanne Conway, when her age is fraying around the edges but she’s possibly even sexier for it.

Much to our delight, we are transported back in time to a place where film noir thrived.
The highway, the desert, the diner, the diamonds, the knock-out pills, the money, the
dramatically heightened third act betrayals, all the noir tropes a starved film junkie could
possibly want.

I’m not sure how to impart the plot without giving things away. So you’ll forgive me if I
just say, Jocelin’s character may have done something irreversibly bad, but while resting
a while at a forlorn desert diner/motel to collect her wits, she finds that her noir nature is
being rewarded beyond her wildest dreams.

As co-authored by Shai and Webb Wilcoxen, the film is contained practically within one
location – a smart move dramatically as well as, I imagine, budgetarily. The camera is
always in the right place, and the lighting, appropriately, is just-shy- of-surreal.

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