THE EVENING HOUR (2021)
An unflinching look at an economically ravaged town in Appalachia, The Evening Hour lays the foundation for a sale it never quite executes successfully.
Cole Freeman (Philip Ettinger) is a small town nursing home aide who sells patient prescriptions to the town’s struggling population. When trouble brews with other dealers in town and as his personal life becomes more twisted, Cole is forced to take action. Ettinger himself carries The Evening Hour, his committed performance genuine and believable through every step. The film is raw in terms of the story that it is attempting to tell and the individuals within its focus, the characters depicted portrayed with saddening authenticity. Still, however, director Braden King’s film unfortunately does not stand out when compared to others telling similar stories, falling back on cliches and familiar story developments.
The Evening Hour also leads to an unsatisfying resolution, one that leaves you wanting more after the commitment made to the film that came before it. What’s more is that you are left unsure about your feelings for Ettinger’s character and the reality of the world he finds himself entrapped in. In a way, while the setting and the characters brought the story to life, I never quite felt an affinity towards any of them. It all seems like a missed opportunity to make a statement rather than to rehash what we all know to be an all-too-common reality.
The Evening Hour is playing in New York at the IFC Center now and next week in Los Angeles at Laemmle.
Photo from Variety