BLUE BAYOU (2021)
Two of the best performances of the year and an emotional rollercoaster of a plot make Blue Bayou an original standout not to be missed.
When Antonio (Justin Chon), a Korean adoptee, is threatened with deportation, he and his wife (Alicia Vikander) make every attempt to keep their young family together. Chon also wrote and directed Blue Bayou, a film that shines light on the deportation of adoptees, yet doesn’t dive deep enough to make a statement. Instead, Chon takes us deep into a family drama that sees his character hit with obstacle after obstacle in a way that is incredibly heartbreaking, but also overwhelming. Much like older teen television dramas, the hits just keep on coming, no matter how unbelievable or convenient they may be, and the layers can be a bit overwhelming. Still, Blue Bayou takes us on a journey of personal redemption that forces the viewer’s investment into the family and what is occurring.
Blue Bayou works because of the chemistry of Chon and Vikander, both delivering moving career performances. Vikander herself continues to show her ability to adapt to any role, here even singing (and quite well). They drive the heart of the film which, even when the script veers into odd territory (the police presence), remains within reach of the emotional core established early on.
Chon’s Blue Bayou dutifully presents an opportunity for representation of not only a life-destroying hole in our immigration system, but also in the struggles of a non-traditional family. The final scenes will leave you a wreck.
Blue Bayou hits theaters this Friday.
Photo from HeyUGuys