Available now from Anchor Bay is this little gem written and directed by Robert Edwards that gives a look inside the hearts of two musical performers. Jude (Amber Heard) is a self-destructive would-be singer-songwriter who sabotages her own life consistently, and clashes with her family on a minute by minute basis.
She can’t seem to get her own life on track, and has never been able to get out from under the shadow of her legendary father, the Sinatra-esque, Paul Lombard (Christopher Walken – in a fine performance).
Around them is a cast of characters who are all in their own world, and unable to relate to each other, Jude’s sister , and restaurateur, Corinne (Kelli Garner), her husband, and Jude’s high school boyfriend Tim (Hamish Linklater), their young son, the disconnected and plugged-in David (Henry Kelemen), family lawyer Alan (Oliver Platt) and Jude’s stepmother, Lucille (Ann Magnuson).
Paul spends his days trying to recapture his old glory, watching his broadcasts, telling stories he’s told time and again, editing his entry on wikipedia, and trying to make it big with a new song. Walken turns in a layered performance, that is subtle and imminently watchable, and Heard holds her own going toe to toe with him.
Set in the ‘slums of the Hamptons’ the story follows Jude as she tries to get free of her father’s shadow, and hopefully connect with him, finally, and get out of her own way to follow her dreams.
While not exactly a happy film (it is hopeful), a lot of the characters are bitter and self-motivated, it’s a nice little character piece that lets Walken be flawed but cool, and Heard seems quite at home playing the self-destructive Jude.
It’s a quiet smaller budget film that doesn’t strive to be more than it is, being small and intimate, works to its favor as we spend time with Jude and Paul, watching their own human frailties and need for success keep them from being supportive of one another.
Three quarters of the film seems to be set in the Lombard household, a hub for the entire family, who all seem stuck in who they are or were, and Jude, as well as the viewer begins to realize she needs to not only get out from under her father’s metaphorical shadow, the thirty-something needs to do it physically as well.
This one won’t entertain everyone, but I quite enjoyed Walken and Heard’s turn in this one. It’s always cool to see Walken on-screen, as no one has his type of cool, and he brings it to this film in spades in a role that seems made for him.
One More Time is available on DVD now from Anchor Bay.