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by Garon Cockrell
Future Weather DVD Review
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April 10, 2013 12:01 a.m.

















Future Weather is seriously good drama about a thirteen-year-old

girl who is abandoned by her mother and is taken in by her grandmother,

disrupting both their lives.








The opening scene shows

Tanya (Marin Ireland) fooling around with her boyfriend in a car. When she gets

home (with the boyfriend), she goes into her daughter’s room to check on her.

Her daughter, Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine), is already in bed, though still

awake. These two seemingly simple scenes are excellent in setting up these

characters and giving us an idea of the relationship without any obvious

exposition. I love that Tanya is introduced as a carefree girlfriend before

being shown as a mom, because of course that is the order she thinks of

herself. Her priorities are clear right from the beginning.








Though it still comes as

a shock when Lauduree gets home from school to find that her mother has moved

out and gone to California (taking most everything with her, and leaving

Lauduree fifty dollars “for food and

other things
”). A note tells Lauduree that her mom is following her “dream of becoming a makeup artist for the

stars
.” You get the sense Lauduree has been taking care of herself quite a

bit already anyway, but even so, this is huge punch to take.








The note instructs Lauduree to call her grandmother, but

Lauduree at first tells no one what has happened. Though after a while, Greta

(Amy Madigan), arrives to check on her daughter and granddaughter, and Lauduree

is forced to tell her the truth.  Greta

tells her she can’t live alone, that she has to come stay with her. And that

won’t be the only change in the teenager’s life, for Greta is moving to Florida

to live with her longtime boyfriend Ed (William Sadler) as soon as her house

is sold.








The other adult in

Lauduree’s life is Ms. Markovi (Lili Taylor), her science teacher.

Environmental issues are important to Lauduree and she turns in a paper saying,

solutions for global warming must be

researched now - we’re at the tipping point
.” She’s concerned with the

preservation of the world, while her immediate personal world is clearly in

trouble.








Lauduree’s only friend is

Neel (Anubhav Jain), a somewhat awkward boy who has just moved to town and is the only other

student in Ms. Markovi’s science club.  The

science club stuff isn’t quite as compelling as Lauduree’s home situation. The

kids and Ms. Markovi interview random people about local animals. And the people

say how they haven’t seen certain animals in a long time, obviously an

environmental message about how species are disappearing. The message is an

important one, but it feels a bit forced. Likewise, the scene where Lauduree

lectures neighbors about the environment doesn’t quite work. But those scenes

are the exceptions. The movie over all is really good, with well-developed

characters.








This film boasts excellent (and sometimes stunningly

good) performances all round. Perla Haney-Jardine gives a remarkable

performance as Lauduree.  The film really

depends on her character being believable, and we are with her every step of

the way. Amy Madigan is phenomenal as Greta. She is definitely not the typical

sweet grandmother character that one might imagine being portrayed. In fact,

when she first shows up at Lauduree’s house, she’s kind of frightening. This

woman is damaged herself, and you really wonder if she’ll be able to take care

of Lauduree any better than Tanya did. 








And though she’s only in a few scenes, Marin Ireland

really turns in a good performance as Tanya. Because of her performance, even

though she abandoned her daughter, you can’t help but feel some sympathy for

Tanya. You want her to get it together, for her own sake as well as for the

sake of her child. And William Sadler, an actor I always enjoy seeing, does a

great job as Ed, a man who truly loves Greta and because of her, does his best to

connect with Lauduree.  








Future Weather was written and directed by Jenny Deller. This is

Deller’s first feature-length film.








Bonus Features








The DVD has a few bonus

features. There are two deleted scenes, the first of which shows Lauduree and

Neel staging a small protest, and the second being a nice scene with Lauduree

and Ed in which she asks him if there are any freshwater mollusks in Florida.








This DVD also includes

the short film Save The Future, which

was written and directed by Jenny Deller. It stars Perla Haney-Jardine as

Laduree (yes, a different spelling of the character’s name). This three-minute

film really focuses on the environmental message, and is narrated by Laduree.

She surveys random people, asking “What

does the future mean to you?
” She then turns to the camera and says this

was a public service announcement “from

your daughter
.” As you might guess, this is handled in a much more

heavy-handed manner than the feature was.








The bonus features also

include the film’s trailer.








Future Weather is scheduled to be released on April 16, 2013

through Virgil Films.










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