Monday, October 13, 2014

Movie Review: "Odd Brodsky" (2013)

Movie"Odd Brodsky"
Director: Cindy Baer
Year: 2013
Rating: ---
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

A woman named Audrey Brodsky (Tegan Ashton Cohan) is high on dreams, but low on talent. Ever since she was a kid, she has wanted to be an actress. She eventually makes her way from Hollywood, Iowa to Hollywood, California, where she gets a mundane office job. She is excellent at her job but still wants for more. She decides to up and quit on the same day she gets a promotion in order to pursue a career in acting. She takes her savings and hires a cameraman (Matthew Kevin Anderson) to film her chasing her dream of becoming an actress, which she wants to turn into a reality show. It turns out, fulfilling her dream as an actress will be harder than she thought. 

BigJ and I had the pleasure of going to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival a few weeks ago and we were able to see all sorts of movies while we were there. "Odd Brodsky" was one our absolute favorites. This film has a really good concept overall. Young people frequently have huge aspirations of stardom and more often than not, these dreams never see the light of day. This is especially true in today's culture with the prevalence of reality television and the rapid rise to fame that the internet, particularly YouTube, can bring. People think it's easy to simply grab a camera, record themselves and whatever stupid thing they are doing at the present moment, and it will automatically equal fame, high praise, and easy money. "Odd Brodsky" tells the harsh reality that dreams do not come easily no matter how badly or how much you want them. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work, some semblance of talent, and a little bit of luck to achieve your dreams.
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Enter Audrey.

Audrey is a lovable goofball with more heart than talent, but has the tenacity and ambition to see her dreams through...or at least to give it all she's got in an effort to try. Tegan Ashton Cohan was an excellent choice for the part of Audrey, even though we were not familiar with her prior to seeing this film. Every time she smiled, I feel like I smiled because it was so infectious. There was something about her aura and the way she carried herself that, even in her darkest hour, she still had enough will to put her all into everything she did, even if it meant playing a tree at a local low-budget playhouse. We as audience members grow to want Audrey to succeed and fulfill her dream of being an actress, even though she's clearly not that good at it. Cindy Baer, who plays Audrey's friend Sammy and is also the film's director, shows another common occurrence that comes along with success in the entertainment industry: milking her 15 minutes of fame for 10 years in each and every way possible. After the film was through, Baer mentioned in a Q&A that this was a hyperbolic example of something that happened to her after her first film was completed.

The rest of the supporting cast is rather brilliant and it seems like everyone involved in this project got along and had good relationships on and off screen. Matthew Kevin Anderson plays Camera One, who is an aspiring cinematographer with feelings for Audrey. Anderson and Cohan had believable and wonderful chemistry and were a riot to watch work off of one another. All of the ladies in Audrey's circle of friends serves as a catalyst for her decision to become an actress after hearing a barrage of stories about how their work and lives in general were horrible and mundane and not what they had hoped. Beyond the acting, the film had a really good soundtrack and score, one that we equated with a Wes Anderson movie. Not only did this movie have a ton of heart and an excellent ending, but it was also ridiculously funny! I laughed the entire way through the movie and our faces hurt after it was over because we had been laughing and smiling so much. Almost all of the ideas in the film are ones that those who have succeeded or are trying to succeed in the entertainment industry can identify with in one way or another.

Overall, we are glad we got the chance to see this movie. It is wholly charming and has a leading lady you can root for, even through her missteps and seeming lack of talent. It just goes to show that people don't need an inflated budget or even big name actors to create an engrossing, compelling, and endearing film. It was obvious to us when listening to Cindy Baer speak after the movie was over that everyone involved in this project had the same heart, willingness, and ambition as Audrey.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!
To learn more about this movie:
-Like "Odd Brodsky" on Facebook
-Follow @OddBrodsky on Twitter

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