This ain’t no Gilmore Girls: Enid Zentelis’s debut feature, Evergreen, tracks high schooler Henri (Addie Land) and single mom Kate (Adaptation‘s Cara Seymour) as they try to squeak by in a new town, where the makeup factory and the toilet-paper factory are the only gettable gigs. They set up camp in Grandma’s shambles of a house. Kate falls for a casino worker (Dead Man‘s Gary Farmer) who allegedly built his car himself out of parts smuggled from a GM plant—it runs, but only one door out of four opens. Henri—all bad dye job, raccoon eyes, and three different kinds of rage—falls for a fellow student from the right side of the tracks, or perhaps more for his functional family and functioning house. Though the acting is tentative at times, with performances not quite landing on the same page, Evergreen is a compassionate slice of Pacific Northwest misery, complete with slowly strummed electric-guitar segues that make it sound like an extra-long This American Life entry.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 31, 2004