Review: God’s Waiting Room (Tribeca 2021)

GOD’S WAITING ROOM (TRIBECA)

A raw, sensitive dive into the lives of three Floridians each trying to chart their paths forward, God’s Waiting Room is an empathic debut from filmmaker Tyler Riggs.

Rosie (Nisalda Gonzalez) is fresh out of high school and falls in with the wrong guy (Jules, played by Matthew Leone). Elsewhere, Brandon (Tyler Riggs) struggles to transition back into society after a decade in prison. Set during a hot and humid Florida Summer, God’s Waiting Room is a character study of three different individuals stuck in their lives, seeking to break free of the monotony for a better future. Riggs gives each actor time to breathe with their characters, quickly establishing the lanes they each are in as if the viewer has simply tuned in to their lives at any given time. The problem I had with the three stories was that while Rosie and Jules are at the forefront of the plot development, Brandon seems almost like an afterthought. In all actuality, the latter’s story was more compelling. While there is an ultimate intersection between the three, the emotional build-up is quickly and disappointingly dealt with.

Riggs certainly has an eye for filmmaking; his characters are fleshed out and the cinematography brings you warmly into the action. While this is a solid first outing, I want to see him trust his instincts more and not get bogged down in trying to reach a cinematic climax rather than seeing the stories through to satisfaction. Balance of character story is incredibly important in a film like this.

Flush with committed performances and bold storytelling, God’s Waiting Room is a promising start for a young filmmaker.

Rating: 3/5

Photo from The Hollywood Reporter

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