Hudson (2019)

  • Release: 2019   (6 May 2019)
  • Genre:  ✯ Comedy ✯ Drama
  • Language: English
  • Country: United States
  • Runtime: 75 mins
  • Rating: 7
  • Quality:  ✯ 1080P WebRip ✯ 720P WebRip
    * WebRip: same quality as BluRay, but ripped earlier from a streaming service

On a journey to scatter his mother’s ashes, a reclusive and timid man encounters unexpected friendships and a chance to start living his life.

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Quality: Very Good   Size: Small
Director :
Sean Daniel Cunningham

Writer :

Sean Daniel Cunningham

Actors :
Gregory Lay | David Neal Levin | Mary Catherine Greenawalt | Richard Masur

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Best Review:

Warning: Spoilers
I wrote this for a local publication, but it never got published. Thought this film deserved the recognition.

Hudson, A Film by Sean D. Cunningham

The Peekskill Film Festival could not have been more fortunate than to present this endearing journey about two cousins taking a road trip to spread their dearly departed’s ashes. As far as a scattering ashes story goes, this does everything right that Elizabethtown did wrong. Namely, how effective it is as a character piece, a testament to Sean D. Cunningham and Gregory Lay’s simple but poignant screenplay, and the excellent work of this believable cast, who seem to be spiritually imbued with their respective roles.

Ryan (Gregory Lay) is a New York City actor who decides to take a trip up to the rural north to visit his cousin, Hudson (David Neal Levin). Hudson is an oddball, closing the door in Ryan’s face, pretending not to know who he is, only to reveal he’s joking. His humor is awkward to his surroundings, but hilarious for the audience. He writes haiku’s in his spare time, albeit poorly, because whereas language creates barriers, syllables are global. He plays with a toy car, sleeps in a tent, stretches for croquet, and carries a naïve sensibility about most things. Ryan does not have much sense of humor, and we’ll learn along the way that he’s conditioned to an environment of taking himself too seriously. Hudson may not be all there, but he has a heart, and that proves to be more important than anything else.

Hudson’s mother has recently passed, leaving him living alone with her ashes up on a mantle. After prying through Ryan’s wallet one night, Hudson learns he has a driver’s license, and can drive an old beat up car in the yard to a willow tree in Cherry Ridge, PA, where he wants to scatter his mother’s ashes. This place has sentimental value, somewhere they went as kids to play on a tire swing. The journey is almost underway as the hunk of junk unsteadily roars to life, but they are stopped by the most perfect characterization of the over-sympathetic neighbor, with curlers in her hair, an over-the-top sorry for your loss face, and an offer to make Hudson a TV dinner one night. They shove off, and the journey begins, one that will be spiritual, full of obstacles, and never without humor.

Along the way, they meet Sunrise (Mary Catherine Greenawalt) at a gas station, who Ryan insists is some stray drug addict. But when their car fails on them, Sunrise shines a light, fixing their problem so they can be off. Turns out she’s headed their way, so they offer her a lift. She’s a regular hometown girl, unimpressed by the fact that Ryan is a city boy actor, or with technology; she’s the kind of girl who’d rather use a paper map than a GPS. She’s not without ambition; she wants to be an animal trainer. Cunningham picks away at the vanity in Ryan, whose response to this revolves around a story about a bird attacking a woman on a film set; he tells production stories not only to keep status, but because it’s his only reality. He’ll meet his match later in a diner when bumping into a bragging fellow actor, who Ryan feels he has to live up to, lying about how busy he is booking shows.

Cunningham puts Ryan through a kind of odyssey, each situation arising that will reveal and challenge this character, forcing him to face himself in ways he’s kept suppressed through at least his adult life. In this way, the title character is more supporting. There’s an interesting balance in characterization. Sunrise seems like a lost girl, but her tenacity demonstrates a strong woman hiding within. Ryan acts like a responsible, mature adult, but he’s a lost boy seeking his roots to fulfill a vital stage of growth he’s avoided. Hudson balances this by being exactly what he appears, a sensitive manchild with a big heart and a lot of quirk. Perhaps he’s the one living truest to his self.

Though we only see him in the doctor’s office, Richard Masur is one of the most impactful performances of the film, playing Hudson’s father, Dr. Jerry. Masur has such depth, seeming to have genuinely lived in this world his whole life. As in classical mythology, he’s the wise old man who revives our journeymen when they need rest, not only providing healing, but wisdom: “try not to run away from stuff that isn’t there.” David Neal Levin does something otherworldy with Hudson, who is perhaps indirectly on the spectrum; enchanting, humorous, reclusive, but completely emotional and sympathetic. He may have the punchline to most laughs, but he’s not comic relief.

With such strong performances all around, Cunningham could shoot this on a cell phone and make it look good, but he has a much more indispensible utility behind the camera. Jason Chau seems practiced at Hudson Valley falltography; sunlight haloing the crisp, golden edges of feuille morte autumn foliage with such warmth, we forget there’s a chill in the air. This is especially exemplified in the apple orchard/pumpkin patch/corn maze, or when they daringly walk off the beaten path into the woods, hoping to find a ‘shortcut’ to their destination.

Hudson took home the Peekskill Film Festival 2019 Best New York State of Mind award, for the obvious reason that it rose above the occasion and delivered something truly humanistic and experiential. People are challenged to overcome obstacles, growing in spirit as the universe acts in accordance. Through mini golf, invisible ice cream, chasing rapids, cider tasting, and getting lost in a corn maze, we are all along for the ride in Sean D. Cunningham’s trek amidst the lesser-travelled roads of New York.

111, за 0.266 в 31 May 2023 - 19:30