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Beyond Fright Review: THE MOMENT

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*Editor’s note:  THE MOMENT in now playing in NYC  and opens in LA at the Sundance Sunset in West Hollywood beginning Friday, June 20th, with  Q&A’s  featuring  writer/director Jane Weinstock, producer Julia Eisenman, and producer Gloria Norris on June 20th and June 21st at 7:30 pm.

From the very start of THE MOMENT, the film has a way of stirring up interest in the audience by opening up with an intense, and almost eerily sad scene. It immediately leaves you wondering what will happen next, and wanting to go more in depth regarding what the film’s lead character, Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is experiencing regarding what can only be explained as the disappearance of John, a writer with whom she appears to have had a relationship with. When Lee is showcasing her war related photographs, there seems to be some tension between her and her daughter, Jesse, which gives the impression that she may not have been the best mother she could be to her daughter. Although she seems like she is trying to keep it together, Lee seems haunted by her recent past, and has a physical and emotional breakdown. This breakdown happens to be her ticket to a mental health hospital, and while admitted, Lee seeks the help of a handsome patient, who also happens to look like her former (and now missing), to help her find the truth behind John’s sudden disappearance.

There are many themes that are portrayed in this film. However, one that stands out the most is the seriousness of mental illness, and dealing with a tragic event that affects how one might live their lives, after surviving such a tragedy. It is hard to put ourselves in another person’s shoes, and this film captures the essence of a woman dealing with her issues, as she attempts to live her life, be a mother, and continue to follow her passion as a photographer..all while also trying to cope with her past, and heal herself emotionally, and mentally.

Although the film tends to jump back and forth between different scenes, and multiple events that Lee has experienced, it can seem a little confusing, or overwhelming trying to grasp what is actually happening, or what has happened prior. However, as long as this film is getting the undivided attention it deserves, the viewer will find that it is actually quite easy to keep up, and as the story unveils, it gets easier and as a viewer, you find yourself enjoying the many twists and turns that THE MOMENT provides, successfully. With a truly talented cast, and featuring such strong, and beautiful performances by Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Alia Shawkat, and Martin Henderson, the film has a way of grasping the attention of the viewer, all while making every single completely enthralling and believable.