Ivanna Danforth, Craig Sheffer, Cole Springer, Ellen Halper, Bobbie Grace, Lee Patrick Galley
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
R. Scott Leisk
Movie Review: Velocity Girl
Chloe (Ivanna Danforth) is a 16-year-old city girl who finds herself completely uprooted when her drug-addicted mother is sent to jail in writer/director R. Scott Leisk's engaging, emotionally honest drama Velocity Girl. Currently on the indie fest circuit, Velocity Girl is a redemptive coming-of-age story with a poignant narrative and a sttrong ensemble cast.
Chloe finds herself sent off to a rural setting with her uncle Earl (Craig Sheffer), a small-town sheriff, and his wife (Ellen Halper), both of whom she's never met. Forced to adjust to circumstances she's never experienced, Chloe slowly begins to find a place including becoming friends with Jasper (Cole Springer), a good-hearted kid raising a cow for the county fair. As one might expect, however, once Chloe's mother is released from jail and life becomes uncertain again past and current traumas rise to the surface and this newfound family may very well be the lifeline she needs.
Danforth, an accomplished singer and songwriter who wrote and performed two songs for the film, is an absolute gem as Chloe with a difficult to pull of combination of city smarts and teenage vulnerability. There are a couple of scenes of genuine ache in the film that she pulls of beautifully.
Craig Sheffer, most known for projects like like A River Runs Through It and One Tree Hill, is always a welcome sight and he offers a nicely nuanced gravitas as uncle Earl with a redemption story himself that he and his wife share. Ellen Halper is also quite good here and it's unsurprising that Springer was a nominee for the Best Texas Actor prize at the South Texas International Film Festival for the film. The film won the Best Texas Feature Film prize at the same fest.
Not to be outdone, Sheffer picked up a Best Supporting Actor prize at the Marina Del Rey Film Festival. The film is still fairly early in its festival run and should pick up more awards along the way.
Lensing by Aaron Lee Lopez is effective throughout the film's 102-minute running time. Kudos as well to Ben Colbeck for an atmospheric original score that also nicely companions the film's warm and winning soundtrack.
This is Leisk's third feature film and there's little doubt we'll continue to hear more from him in the future. With a strong narrative and a winning ensemble, Velocity Girl is an emotionally compelling drama easily worth your time.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic