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“Night Comes On” Is an Assured, Bleak Directorial Debut

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With Night Comes On, Jordana Spiro is out to show she’s not another TV actor dipping her toe in the sea of indie movies looking to wow folks with her cute, quirky way of telling stories. (Translation: She’s not trying to be Zach Braff.)

Spiro, best known for her turns in the TBS comedy My Boys and the Netflix crime drama Ozark, goes dead serious with her debut feature, which she co-wrote with Angelica Nwandu, founder of the Instagram-based gossip hub the Shade Room. Nwandu implemented some autobiographical aspects in the story: When she was seven, Nwandu’s father killed her mother, a tragic circumstance also faced by the movie’s protagonist, Angel (Dominique Fishback). Fresh out of juvenile detention, she hatches a plan to buy a gun and kill her father for killing her mother. Desperate to know his whereabouts, she springs her more positive little sister (Tatum Marilyn Hall) from foster care and they take a little trip.

Spiro creates an earnestly cynical world for our two heroines, a place where the men are either unresponsive or sleazy and the women are around to help a sister in distress. As much as Spiro and Nwandu want to hit audiences with the Real Shit, the movie is predictably dour. All through the film, you pray it doesn’t go down the bleak routes that films like this usually go — and, most of the time, it does. Night Comes On is an assured first shot from Spiro but, damn, I couldn’t wait for this fucking thing to be over.

Night Comes On
Directed by Jordana Spiro
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Opens August 3, Cinema Village

 

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