On DVD/VOD release from director Curt Hahn, Curb Entertainment and Freestyle Releasing comes a film with heart and drive with DEADLINE.
This film tells the story of Matthew Harper (Steve Talley), a young writer for the Nashville Times. Trying to find the big story he meets Trey Hall (Lauren Jenkins) a young woman from Alamo, Alabama with a story to tell.
Twenty years ago a young African-American man named Wallace Sampson was gunned down while on his way home from visiting his girlfriend. Leaving behind a grieving mother Mary Pell (Jackie Welch), she continues to work for Trey’s family.
Matt knows this is a story that needs attention but his editor Walker (Jeremy Childs) will only allow him to cover the story if he takes Ronnie Bullock (Eric Roberts) with him. Getting flack from publisher Baxter (David Ditmore) keeps these two on their toes.
What they start to uncover is a story of corruption, violation of human rights and a town that is afraid of its leaders. It begins to cost Matt his fiance Delana (Anna Felix) and any relationship with his sick father and writer Lucas Harper (J.D. Souther).
Some things are worth fighting for!
FINAL WORD: Talley as Harper takes on a lot in this role. Not only is he up against a town’s silence but his own emotions that are failing him in his own relationships. Talley brings it together nicely while managing a story line that has so many emotions I gives him props for keeping it straight.
Jenkins as Hall brings the story into focus but still stays quietly in the background for much of the film. Felix jumps right in as the girlfriend who feels betrayed by something she can’t fight – needing to tell a story. Souther as Lucas, although supports his son in his own way, has family secrets of his own to deal with.
The two performances I enjoyed most were that of first Roberts as Bullock. His character always remains just outside the line of acceptable behaviors and doesn’t apologize for it. His idea of being a people person is watching and adding commentary when needed. The second performance is that of Welch as Mary Pell. Her moments are quiet yet powerful as a mother who has lost so much. There is more to this character than meets the eye and the emotion she brings out of viewers will be touching.
Other cast include: Maisha Dyson as Vannesa Brown, Tommy Cresswell as Judge Buchannan, Clay Brocker as Bill ‘Possum’ Baker, Darryl Van Leer as Reverand Young, Joe Blankenship as Oker, Larry Woods as Max Macallum, Jesse James Locorriere, David Dwyer as Everett Hall, and Jenny Littleton as Penny.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DEADLINE three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I truly enjoyed the story line which is in the same genre as A LONG WALK HOME, CORINA CORNIA and more recently, THE HELP.
The story has twists and turns that are amazing! The film is based on a true story and a novel by Mark Ethridge and even then viewers might find it hard to believe. It is deeply ingrained with moments of surrealism that attitudes portrayed are still alive and well in some places in the south. Take from this film lessons for our children that
In the end – uninvestigated, unsolved and unpunished…until now.