Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie Review: "Noble Fir" (2014)

Movie"Noble Fir"
Director: Joseph Arney & Christopher W. Graham
Year: 2014
Rating: ---
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A man named Henry Dean (Richard E. Wilson) grieving the death of his wife distances himself from his family and friends, becoming increasingly more isolated and angry over time. He keeps busy doing his day to day work on the Christmas tree farm the he owns. 

Who knew a movie about Christmas trees could be so dull???

This was the first feature length film we saw when we got to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. While we were excited to being our experience, I wish we had picked a different film to watch first because this movie was soooooooooooooo slow and rather boring, even though it is only an hour and a half in length. Watching this movie first actually made BigJ and I worried about the rest of the film festival as a whole. We wondered silently and out loud, "are all the films going to be like this?" It is a character sketch of one man who is clearly grieving the loss of his wife, though it never overtly states this until at least halfway through the movie. Beyond his initial grief, Henry Dean is a boring man with what seems to be no interests outside his Christmas tree farm. There are some aspects of the film that are technically well done. For instance, when the film begins, unusually, it starts with a very long shot of Dean's back. We thought this was a weird choice for the filmmakers to make since we couldn't see the lead actor's face. Gradually, as he begins to open up somewhat, Dean is shown getting closer to the camera, and also begins to reveal more of his face and the front of his person as the movie progresses. We liked this aspect a lot, but the young makers of this movie forgot that the most important part of the film making process is ultimately entertaining your audience and being able to keep their attention. When there is little or no entertainment value, these technical aspects are rendered useless. There is very little dialogue in this film beyond grunts, groans and the sound of truck tires on the ground. It's so dull, you might be more entertained by watching a Christmas tree grow, which takes around 7-12 years, which is about how long it felt like we were in the theater.

One of the best parts of this film festival was often the Q&A after a film was finished. For movies that we enjoyed and were genuinely interested in, it was fun to see the filmmakers and actors who talked about their project with passion and pride. For this film, one we didn't really like at all and yet everyone else seemed to love, we were left feeling awkward and needed to resist the urge to ask why their film was so boring.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---
Do we recommend this movie: No.
To learn more about this movie:
-Like the "Noble Fir the Movie" Facebook page

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