There's an awful lot of fun to be found in writer/director Jim Heffernan's ultra-indie project The Angry World of Brian Webster, a film that began life as an Indiegogo project with a world premiere in early 2019 and an extended fest life that has included appearances and awards at Lift-Off Global Network's First-Time Filmmaker Sessions, Sanford International Film Festival (Best Actor, Chris Goodwin), New York Long Island Film Festival (Best Ensemble Cast Feature and Best Supporting Actor - Zach Gillette), Frostbite International Film Festival and others.
The film centers around, you guessed it, one Brian Webster (Goodwin). He's an unemployed and emotionally inept filmmaker with an eccentric and motley group of unmotivated friends. This is a solidly entertaining effort from Heffernan and his cast and crew, a film with a lot of laughs, a surprising amount of heart, and a collective ensemble clearly on-board with Heffernan's vision for the film.
As Brian, Goodwin's a joy here. His chemistry with Zach Gillette's Freddy is sublime and it's not surprising at all that both actors would pick up fest acting awards here.
If there's one thing that really struck me about The Angry World of Brian Webster, it's just how beautiful a film it is to look at. D.P. Preston Alexander's lensing for the film is exceptional, creative and inspired and far surpassing that which we usually find in ultra-indie projects. Costume design by Grace Babikian is also spot-on in bringing these characters to life.
Heffernan dedicated the film to Harry White, a longtime family friend who passed away the morning after the film wrapped.
A quick browsing of the film's Facebook page reveals a little village of sorts, Heffernan's ability to gather the troops obvious and even the social media projecting the perfect tone for such a unique yet enjoyable project.
The Angry World of Brian Webster is definitely an ensemble motion picture and Heffernan has assembled a terrific ensemble. In addition to the fine work by Goodwin and Gillette, Suzanne Danahy shines alongside Lauren Via, India Pearl, and quite a few others.
This is a definite team effort.
Plans for the DVD include full-color artwork, a commentary track, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, the trailer and the Blu-ray will add on a Director Intro, feature-length cast commentary, outtake reel, and the short film "Destroy All Sisters." Again, Heffernan is going above and beyond here and putting together a mighty fine packaging for the DVD/Blu-ray release.
For more information on The Angry World of Brian Webster, visit the film's website linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic