This Friday from writer/director Rob Connolly and Vertical Entertainment is comes a film with grit found at the “Edge of Winter.”
Elliot Baker (Joel Kinnaman) is working through a divorce and is missing his two sons. When ex-wife Karen (Rachelle Lefevre) agrees to let Elliot take the boys while she goes on vacation he is excited.
Bradley (Tom Holland) is a teen that definitely has issues with his father and Caleb (Percy White) just follows along with big brother in all things. When Elliot takes the boys out for a day of roughing it and shooting, they don’t beat out an incoming storm. When the car gets stuck, they have to find a place to safely wait.
Finding a cabin, Bradley begins to suspect that their father is having a difficult time having just been laid off from his job. Caleb lets slip that their mother and step-dad will be moving away with the boys and the tension becomes clear.
When strangers show up at the cabin, Elliot knows he needs to protect what is his and nothing or no one is going to stop that from happening.
But who needs protecting from who?
Kinnaman as Baker is man continually being pushed to the limits. From being jobless and no ability to pay child support but wanting to do right by his boys, plus learning they are moving away is tough enough. Add a dash of a car crash, stuck in the woods and strangers at his door put this character of the edge of more than winter — more like the edge of madness! Kinnaman has always been on my radar and he continues to stay there with roles like this one.
Holland as Bradley is a young man who sees what is happening to his father and reacts like an adult to take care of his little brother. This isn’t the first time he has played this protective and intelligent role and yet he truly makes it look easy. I absolutely love what he does (with maybe the exception of Spiderman because I think he’s better than that!) and I am looking forward to seeing him in “The Lost City of Z” and “Pilgrimage” later this year. He continues to be an amazing presence on the screen.
White as Caleb doesn’t always share the estrangement that brother Bradley has towards their father. He sees that Dad is really trying to share an experience with them so he goes with the flow of it. When it comes to trust however, it is big brother Bradley that he listens to. Well done.
I don’t talk much about the other roles in the film and that isn’t because they are not important but more that talking about it takes away from the film. So let me say right here and now that Benson, Fernandez and Sutherland are added shock and awe to the storyline.
Other cast include: Shaun Benson as Ted, Shiloh Fernandez as Richard, and Rossif Sutherland as Luc.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Edge of Winter” four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is such an intriguing and yet frightening film. The twists and turns are chilling due to a well written script and superb acting and adding mother nature in a setting of the duality of beauty and hard reality.
The combination of Kinnaman and Holland reaffirms what I already knew about both these actors. Kinnaman is finally getting the recognition he deserves and as I am a fan of foreign film and television shows, it shouldn’t be surprising that I saw this actor in 2009 in the Johan Falk series. Then the AMC series The Killing came about in 2011 playing Stephen Holder and Kinnaman made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere!
Holland needs to forgo the Spidey suit and continue to take roles that show the chops I saw he had from the 2012 film THE IMPOSSIBLE. He carried a huge role for such a little boy but his performance brought about the films HOW I LIVE NOW and IN THE HEART OF THE SEA as well as television playing Gregory Cromwell in the award winning series WOLF HALL.
“Edge of Winter” is gritty, grey, and deliberate in the telling. The film isn’t perfect but I am absolutely okay with that. The directorial debut of Connolly should not go unnoticed as I was captivated from start to finish and honestly can not wait to see what he comes up with next.
In the end — there is nothing more dangerous than a father’s love!