WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Singa Home Entertainment
"Cold December" Review
Chicago filmmaker Brian Wright aspired to create a film that would resonate with his fellow Chicagoans.
The end result? "Cold December," a $3,000 ultra-indie feature-length film written and directed by Wright and due to be released on DVD this week by up-and-coming distributor Echelon Studios.
Shot in five days in December 2006, "Cold December" takes a mostly Chicago-based cast and creates a solid, somewhat somber story about Chris Payton (Chris Fountain), a 20-something midwesterner working a 9-to-5 job that leaves him dissatisfied and hungering for more. When his quarter-life crisis threatens his marriage, Payton is forced to make some crucial decisions about his future.
While the storylines aren't remotely similar, "Cold December" has a feeling similar to last year's "Midnight Clear," another indie flick set right around the holidays that managed to show the world that given the right vehicle Stephen Baldwin can act.
"Cold December" is similarly blessed with a strong lead performance in the person of Chris Fountain, a previous collaborator of Wright's. While Wright cast a couple of the roles using previous collaborators, the film's remaining characters were all cast using craigslist.org.
While "Cold December" certainly is hindered by the inevitable low budget tech issues, Wright shows great promise both in the structure of his story and in capturing nice shots of Grant Park.
Thanks to studios like Echelon, more and more audiences are getting the opportunity to see ultra indie fare like "Cold December" and a host of other films from filmmakers whose budgets are pocket change compared to the Hollywood machinery.
While not all midwesterners will resonate with Wright's interpretation of the midwest quarter and mid-life crisis, "Cold December" is a solid first effort from a promising writer and director.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic