Cinefamily’s Underseen & Overlooked of 2013

January 25: This Is Martin Bonner

It’s movies like these that make round-ups like this worthwhile. It took not one, but two Kickstarter campaigns to get this tribute to sad dads everywhere onto the screen, and it’s told with a steadfast restraint and minimalism that belies its genuine emotionality. It’s set in Reno, NV, and the town’s limbo-like qualities are perfectly captured as a backdrop for two fathers, each completely isolated from their kids. One’s a newly-minted ex-con (Richmond Arquette), and the other’s an exiled church official (Paul Eenhoorn) who, after a divorce highly unliked by his congregation, must start over as a job counselor for recently released offenders. It’s a tearjerker, really, and a good one, but one that doesn’t shed a lot of tears for itself; director Chad Hartigan knows it’s a lot more powerful to see people who try not to cry, and let the audience do it for them. Schedule permitting, director Chad Hartigan will be here in person for a Q&A after the film!

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