Dare follows three very-different teenagers through the last semester of high school. There are Alexa (Emmy Rossum), the overachieving good girl who longs to break out of her shell; Ben (Ashley Springer), the melancholy outsider confused about his sexuality; and Johnny (Zach Gilford), the rich kid who has everything, including good looks, but hides behind his bad-boy persona. This unlikely trio fall into each other’s lives and each other’s arms, making a last-ditch effort to shake things up before they actually have to start living as adults. Director Adam Salky and writer David Brind takes us into some uncharted territory with fresh eyes and matter-of-fact authority. Sweet and sexy don’t always go together, but they work beautifully in this instance because the sexuality of the film is cleverly woven into the fabric of the story. You can ask why the kids are in such a hurry to experience adult feelings, especially when their parents, comically enough, are afraid to get in the way. All is answered in the nuanced performances of this exceptional cast. They capture perfectly a generation with nothing to rebel against except their self-imposed inhibitions. By being keenly perceptive, director Salky stacks up countless priceless moments in crafting teen romance with a decidedly modern spin. In Dare, the kids do what they need to do to become the adults they should. [Synopsis courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival.]
Kate (Swank) is a suave, successful classical pianist just diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Bec (Rossum) is a brash college student and would-be rock singer who can barely keep her wildly chaotic affairs, romantic and otherwise, together. Yet, when Bec takes a job assisting Kate, just as Kate’s marriage to Evan (Josh Duhamel) hits the skids, both women come to rely on what becomes an unconventional, sometimes confrontational and fiercely honest bond. As meticulous, willful Kate begins to rub off on whirlwind, spontaneous Bec – and vice versa – both women find themselves facing down regrets, exploring new territory and expanding their ideas of who they want to be.
Hurtling back and forth in time over six years of a passionate, complicated relationship, this high-style love story crackles with brilliant repartee and simmers with true feeling. Emmy Rossum is the bright, skeptical Kimberly, and Justin Long is the tightly wound Dell. They first meet at a random encounter at Hollywood Forever, where they’ve come to watch a meteor shower. It’s the start of a romantic roller coaster ride that leaps from a Paris tryst to a squabble in New York to the Hollywood Hills, taking risky and unexpected emotional turns with daredevil aplomb. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]
A thriller about friendship and loyalty, guilt and vengeance, and the fateful affect the past has on the present. Sean Penn won an Oscar for his multifaceted performance as a father who lost his daughter.