Review: Lorelei (Tribeca 2021)

LORELEI (TRIBECA)

Boosted by the powerful performances of Jena Malone and Pablo Schreiber, Lorelei is a deeply moving film that compassionately explores the themes of love, redemption, and chasing our dreams.

When Wayland (Schreiber) get out of prison after 15 years and moves back to his blue-collar hometown, he reconnects with his high school girlfriend Dolores (Malone), quickly moving in and reluctantly becoming a father figure to her three kids. Wayland struggles to keep from going back to his previous lifestyle while Dolores revisits her dreams of the Los Angeles lights. Lorelei is a raw and authentic look at a single mother trying to make ends meet and a man trying to reenter a society that he has long been outside of. Director Sabrina Doyle has crafted an intimate film that doesn’t shy away from strenuous, emotional, and often volatile portrayals. Lorelei is also bold enough to tackle gender norms and identity in a young child as Dolores’ youngest pushes those boundaries, a pleasant inclusion that rare in film. 

The film is produced by the same team behind The Florida Project, another project that dives into realistic reflections of often ignored people and communities; Lorelei has the same genuine feel. In the end, it’s the performances that drive the film’s narrative home. Malone and Schreiber’s chemistry is strong and convincing while Malone herself delivers one of the best, if not the best, performances of her career. They’re both supported by exceptional outings by each of the three kids, all contributing to a compelling debut film from Doyle.

Rating: 4/5

Photo from Tribeca

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