Movie Review – ‘The Overnighters’ (Rental)

overnighters

“It’s a stunning film that exposes everything we hold dear to us in life.  Parts of it will shake all the fibers of your body as you contemplate the difficult hardships facing so many”

I previewed this movie last September and thought it looked pretty good.  “The Overnighters” took home the 2014 Intuitive Filmmaking Award at the Sundance Film Festival and a whole slew of other wins & nominations last year.  Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
  • Made the Academy Award shortlist for Best Documentary Feature
  • Named “Best Documentary Film” of 2014 by the Toronto Film Critics Association
  • Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival for “Best Feature Documentary”
  • Grand Jury Prize winner at the Miami International Film Festival
  • Best Documentary Feature award winner at the Philadelphia Film Festival

 

“The Overnighters” is the story of Americans from all over the country who’ve been dealt a lousy hand and need not only jobs, but a new start on life.  A redo, if you will.  In oil rich Williston, North Dakota, the economy is buzzing with jobs and opportunity.  As word travels of the expansive and lucrative employment offerings, people looking for a fresh start begin to migrate by the thousands to the small town in hopes of capitalizing on the American dream. From here this film showcases all the mixed emotions of a community bursting at the seams–affordable housing the first casualty of the new demographic population.  “The Overnighters” thrusts the problems associated with such a rapid change to individuals plight and the town’s diverse response–which includes acceptance, indifference and repulsiveness to those arriving at Williston’s doorstep.  In steps the de facto mayor and the face of Williston to the migrate workers..a local pastor who opens his church and home to these displace Americans.

Written, directed and produced by Jesse Moss, “The Overnighters” asks the hard question–“What is community anymore?”

After a somewhat slow start to this film, the high pressure and intensity builds up to a dynamic and unimagined ending.  The emotions of all involved in this film run full-circle: risk, opportunity, and disappointment.  But hopeless should never win. It’s a stunning film that exposes everything we hold dear to us in life.  Parts of it will shake all the fibers of your body as you contemplate the difficult hardships facing so many and risks associated with their trek northward in search of hope and survival.

Grade: B-

You may rent “The Overnighters” at Amazon, iTunes, Netflix or VUDU.

“The Overnighters” is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and brief strong language.  Its running time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

 

 

© 2015, Patrick. All rights reserved.



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