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The Independent Critic

Clarence Wethern, Bethany Ford Binkley, Mary Mack, Bob Davis, Richard Ooms, Peter Christian Hansen
Dave Ash
99 Mins.

 "Twin Cities" Authentically Explores a Fractured Relationship 
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Winner of the Audience Award at Film Invasion Los Angeles, Dave Ash's third film is an authentic exploration of a fractured relationship and the things that bring us together. And tear us apart. 

In the film, John (Clarence Wethern) and Emily (Bethany Ford Binkley) are a husband and wife barely existing within an intensely fractured nearly dissolute relationship. Both characters return from Ash's film 2021, played by the same performers, and that cohesiveness adds an even deeper authenticity and emotional resonance to everything that unfolds. 

Emily is pregnant and several months along, a successful writer struggling to produce her follow-up and yet reduced to communicating with her husband via post-it notes. Pressured by her agent to produce something resembling a decent working draft or she faces the prospect of having to return her $50,000 advance. 

John, on the other hand, is lesser understood in the early goings on, though it's about the time that Emily moves toward dissolving the marriage that John is slammed with the diagnosis of cancer. Faced with the prospect of chemo, John's personality takes a shift toward a Tim McGraw song as his personality brightens and he begins to see cancer not so much as a death sentence but as an opportunity to turn things around. 

Twin Cities is a rather low-key, honest film that lives into its well-earned moments of heart and humor, honesty and authenticity partly owing to Ash's wonderful script and partly owing to wonderful performances from both Bethany Ford Binkley and Clarence Wethern. While the two are surrounded by a solid ensemble cast, I was particularly taken by Mary Mack here, Twin Cities ultimately comes down to being a two-person show and both performers are more than up to the task. 

Alec Schwandt's lensing is warm when it needs to be, cold when it ought to be, and nicely follows the film's shifts in mood and tone. The same is true for Charlie McCarron's original music and Jason P. Schumacher's editing. 

Twin Cities is practically the definition of the kind of film you expect to find at an indie film fest, a smart and insightful drama that doesn't compromise its integrity for Hallmark greeting card moments or Hollywood's tendency toward stylized storylines and endings. Instead, the film serves up an honest story about two people in the throes of disaster and the big and little things in their lives that will help them answer that ultimate question - "What next?"

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic