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Dreamland (15)

Cast: Kerry Condon, Margot Robbie, Finn Cole, Travis Fimmel
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Nicolaas Zwart
Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Release Date: 11/12/2020
Running Time: 98mins
Country: US
Year: 2019

Eugene Baker grows up in the sun-scorched dustbowl of Texas with his father John and mother Olivia. The old man leaves when Eugene is five, sending just one postcard from New Mexico after his angry exodus. Eugene grows into an awkward teenager, who escapes reality by immersing himself in the detective magazines he steals from a local store. Late one night, he discovers fugitive bank robber and murderer Allison Wells in the family's barn and responds to her pleas for help with kindness.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Dreamland (15)

Doomed lovers go on the run in Dreamland, an overly familiar tale of lust in the dust that owes some of its stylistic choices and hopeful romanticism to Terrence Malick’s Oscar-winning 1978 drama Days Of Heaven. The sun beats down relentlessly on director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s second picture, reducing the American dreams of Depression-era settlers to withered husks as drought and a series of devastating storms parch the farmlands of Texas. Seeds of hope seldom take root and any brave souls that remain place their faith in the words of the Lord and generous glugs of a liquor bottle..

Screenwriter Nicolaas Zwart uses the faded pastoral idyll as a weather-beaten backdrop to a meeting between a teenage boy, who has been starved of paternal affection, and a fugitive female bank robber with a rap sheet akin to Bonnie and Clyde. Embers of desire ignite in the picture’s languid second half, which is dominated by a prolonged shower sex scene that operates effectively as a demonstration video on water wastage. Two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie discharges her undeniable star power, almost convincing us that she has feelings for Finn Cole’s infatuated youth when neither the script nor Joris-Peyrafitte’s direction convincingly back up her teary-eyed outpourings.

A female narrator (Lola Kirke) recounts the story of Eugene Baker (Cole), who grows up in the sun-scorched dustbowl of Texas, with his father John (Hans Christopher) and mother Olivia (Kerry Condon). The old man leaves when Eugene is five, sending just one postcard from New Mexico after his angry, night-time exodus. Eugene grows into an awkward teenager, who escapes the unforgiving weather conditions by immersing himself in the detective magazines he steals from a local store with best friend Joe (Stephen Dinh).

During one of these sorties into town, the boys learn that bank robber and murderer Allison Wells (Robbie) is at large in the state. There is a 10,000 dollar reward for her capture. Soon after, Eugene stumbles upon the injured fugitive in the family’s barn and responds to her pleas for help by nervously removing a bullet from her thigh. Allison paints herself as a victim of bad circumstances and offers the boy 20,000 dollars to steal a vehicle to get her to Mexico. By aiding a bank robber, Eugene risks dire repercussions for his mother, lawman stepfather George (Travis Fimmel) and little sister Phoebe (Darby Camp). “This is the land of burden, kid. Now you get to pick yours,” coolly summarises Allison.

Dreamland lights up every time Robbie limps on screen, contradicting the narrator’s assertion that Eugene is the emotional lynchpin of her oral history. The 98-minute running time feels markedly longer but when the narrative does shift into second gear, an inevitable resolution is hurried.
– Sarah Lee


London Cinemas Showing Dreamland


From: Friday 15th January
To: Thursday 28th January

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 29th January
To: Thursday 4th February

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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Dreamland


From: Friday 15th January
To: Thursday 28th January

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 29th January
To: Thursday 4th February

No cinema infomation at the moment