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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Mandy Evans, Jim True-Frost, Griffin Robert Faulkner
DIRECTED BY
Jeremiah Kipp
SCREENPLAY
Jessica Blank
RUNNING TIME
15 Mins.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

 "Pickup" the Latest Film From Jeremiah Kipp 
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There are no moments to breathe in Jeremiah Kipp's latest short film, the involving and disturbing Pickup, a film written by Jessica Blank and starring Mandy Evans as Megan, whose facade of normalcy with a seemingly idyllic marriage, comfortable home and beautiful son masks a harsh yet not particularly uncommon secret. Megan's controlled family life is shaken by her destructive addiction, an addiction that if discovered could destroy everything. 

At a mere 15 minutes in length, Pickup throws the truth in our faces quickly and never, not even for a single moment, lets up as Kipp, an increasingly in demand indie director, goes darker than usual yet never compromises authenticity along the way. 

It helps to have an actress the caliber of Evans, whose ability to capture Megan's inner struggles while maintaining a calm exterior is essential to the character's remaining sympathetic even as her actions put both herself and her child's welfare in peril. 

Evans, who as a piece of fun trivia used to be a Radio City Rockette, indeed really rocks the screen as Mandy and offers a layered, complex performance devoid of the usual one-note tendencies we so often find with this type of character. Evans's Mandy is, or at least tries to be, a loving mother but there's something desperately unsettled deep inside of her and she's living out that inner chaos in increasingly unstable ways. Young Griffin Robert Faulkner, whom you may recognize from the recent It Comes at Night, is also a gem as young Liam while The Wire's Jim True-Frost isn't tasked with much complexity but adds layers of intrigue as Megan's husband, Ben.

Eric Giovon's lensing casts constant shadows, a wonderfully effective approach that makes the film's more jarring scenes less graphic and more emotionally impactful. Giovanni Spinnelli's original music is also a sublime complement to the unnerving film.

Pickup continues on the film fest circuit and most recently screened in late June at the Soho International Film Festival. Yet another success for the impressive Jeremiah Kipp, the film's lingering impact also speaks volumes about the gifted storytelling of Jessica Blank. If you get a chance, definitely check out the film for yourself.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic 

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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