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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Amelia Rose Blaire, Rick Gonzales, Marin Hinkle, Arye Gross, and Bryan Dechart
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Steve Albrezzi
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
94 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Independent
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 "Commencement" Has U.S. Premiere at Heartland Film Festival 
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An official selection having its U.S. Premiere at Indy's Heartland Film Festival, writer/director Steve Albrezzi's Commencement is a gentle and easygoing coming-of-age story about Christa Richmond (Amelia Rose Blaire), a ready to tackle the world young woman fresh off giving her valedictory speech at university who heads home to begin her post-collegiate life.

This is where her learning really begins. Her education kicks off with an unexpected relationship drama and the need for roadside assistance, incidents that open the door to teachable moments with a prickly tow-truck driver, her quirky parents, her wise grandparents, and quite a bit more.

While the premise behind Commencement isn't necessarily unheard of, Albrezzi's script is good-hearted and refreshingly lacking in the unnecessary conflicts and jadedness that seems to always permeate this type of material these days. As Christa, Blaire embodies a sort of youthful enthusiasm that may dim but never goes away even as life becomes quite a bit more than she expected upon her journey home.

Commencement is pretty much what you hope for from a coming-of-age story, a film brimming with hope and humor and heart and presented in a way that feels for the most part authentic and natural. The film's supporting players, including familiar face Arye Gross along with Marin Hinkle and Rick Gonzales, do a rock solid job in telling a familiar story in a fresh and entertaining way.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic  

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