Future Weather (NR)

Drama 100 February 22, 2013
By Andrew Schenker
"Are you ready for 23 feet of water flooding the Eastern Seaboard?" demands 13-year-old Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine) in a burst of self-righteous pique late in Future Weather. It's part of writer/director Jenny Deller's modest achievement that she understands her protagonist's obsession with global warming as a logical response to her bleak personal situation. Abandoned by her single mother, living in a trailer park in rural Illinois, Lauduree equates a frustration with her perceived lack of future with the impending doom of the entire planet. The film is most successful as a character study of a stubborn, prickly girl whose intelligence far outweighs her immediate prospects-- and, to a lesser degree, of her equally sharp-edged grandmother (Amy Madigan) with whom she goes to live. As a portrait of a semi-hellish backwater, it's content to give us a glimpse or two of rural desperation and leave it at that-- although a school project in which Lauduree and a classmate interview locals about their favorite animal proves an unfortunate lapse of directoral judgment. Similarly, Deller's pacing remains uneven, taking too long to build to a too-rapid finale, but that at least gives her opportunity to focus on the film's main asset, devoting ample time to observing its tetchy, sharply drawn lead.
Jenny Deller William Sadler, Lili Taylor, Amy Madigan, Marin Ireland, Perla Haney-Jardine, Jenny Dare Paulin, Jennifer Layne Park, Peter Patrikios, Jessica Hoffman, Ernesto Rosas Jenny Deller First Pond Entertainment

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