Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Two Ways Home Review: A Charming Indie Drama About Second Chances

Tanna Frederick	...	Kathy Tom Bower	Tom Bower	...	Walter Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Elizabeth Bauman	Elizabeth Bauman	...	Lilly Rylie Behr	Rylie Behr	...	Cori Bee Chizak	Bee Chizak	...	Patty Kathleen Douglass	Kathleen Douglass	...	Leah Joel Everist	Joel Everist	...	George Pat Frey	Pat Frey	...	Squibb Kim Grimaldi	Kim Grimaldi	...	Barbara Drake Hagar	Drake Hagar	...	Gary Richard Maynard	Richard Maynard	...	Ed Shanda Lee Munson	Shanda Lee Munson	...	Dinah Ben Tiskevics	Ben Tiskevics	...	Aaron Joel West	Joel West	...	Junior

Release date: December 29, 2020
Running time: 92 minutes
Stars: Tanna Frederick, Tom Bower, Elizabeth Bauman, Rylie Behr, Joel West
Director: Ron Vignone
Writer: Richard Schinnow

A young woman living with bipolar disorder struggles to honor her grandfather's last wish while attempting to reunite with her estranged 12-year-old daughter.  The movie has Kathy (Frederick) returning home after some trouble with the law and a realization of an underlying mental condition.  However, her time away from her daughter Cori (Behr) and her daughter's father Junior (West) causes additional tension in this already tense homecoming.  

Director: Ron Vignone Writer: Richard Schinnow    Produced by  Kimberly Busbee	...	producer Tanna Frederick	...	executive producer / producer Tricia Linklater	...	co-producer Ron Vignone	...	producer
Two Ways Home features a small cast in a small town with an idyllic Americana setting.  The film is an indie through and through, but it has a surprisingly good setting and soft camera work to make it feel like a nice country drama.  The movie is set in a small town and the issues with small town angst and rumors are front and center.  Kathy has to not only deal with her own mental issues and shame, but also the weight and judgment of a town that has followed her every move since she was young.  And the movie is mostly focused on Kathy and rises and falls based on Frederick's performance.  And overall she does a great job as Kathy, having to juggle the inherent mental issues of the character but also the pent up rage and shame that she has inside her.  Kathy deals with comments from all over her life and the emotional toll this takes is communicated perfectly.  And she not only has to take this from acquaintances, but also from her own family including her daughter.  West is also good as Junior, and has a nice, level headed personality.  However, he does seem to adjust a little too quickly to Kathy being back and tries too hard to be the voice of reason in this scenario.  And although Behr does a good job as Cori, her character is not the most likeable during most of the film.

Two Ways Home has a story that chronicles Kathy's life being rebuilt, with all the ups and downs it brings.  However, the movie feels a little too convenient at times.  Some characters find a change of heart far too quickly after a lot of build up, and issues tend to resolve in far too easy of a fashion.  The movie has an overall air of ABC family, which is not necessarily a bad thing but I think it could have been a little more weighty.  The acting chops are definitely there from the performances on screen, and it seems like the movie could have added some additional drama and nuance.  However, the overall film does have a charm to it and the indie nature is endearing. The film is an interesting drama about second chances and rebuilding your life, and it is an overall enjoyable experience.

Two Ways Home tackles second chances in a charming indie drama that pushes some boundaries but resolves too easily.   

Rent it.

Indie Drama Iowa Small Town Redemption Second Chances Rebuilding Drama indie Indie film
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