This week’s video recommendation is a totally overlooked drama from earlier this year, A Country Called Home. Somehow A Country Called Home missed out on any significant theatrical release even though it’s a very satisfying Finding Yourself drama.
Imogen Poots plays Ellie, a young Los Angeles woman with an underachieving job and a lousy boyfriend who takes her for granted. She hears that her estranged father has become gravely ill, and we learn that she has escaped a Texas childhood with an alcoholic father. Her brother (Shea Whigham) also lives in Los Angeles; he is flourishing and doesn’t care a whit about their father – the brother has moved on from his upbringing. But Ellie is a poster girl for low-self esteem, and she feels obligated to travel to her father’s bedside.
Once in Texas, she finds that her father has just passed, leaving the detritus of his alcoholic life. Everything in her old hometown is trashy, complicated or just plain unsupportive. She meets a misfit wannabe singer-songwriter (Mackenzie Davis unrecognizable from Bad Turn Worse). And there’s a pressured-out single dad played by the sad-eyed Ryan Bingham (the Oscar-winning songwriter for Crazy Heart).
A Country Called Home is the debut feature for director and co-writer Anna Axster, and it’s a successful and engaging study of a woman finally emerging from a childhood with an alcoholic parent. It turns out that, to move on with her life, she needed another look at where she came from.
A Country Called Home can be streamed from Netflix Instant, Amazon Instant, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.