Estranged for years from her reclusive father, Maggie (Dianna Agron – (Shiva Baby, Glee) succeeds in tracking him down. To her surprise Lloyd’s (Thomas Haden Church – Spider-Man: No Way Home, Divorce) been trying to make first contact with the lights he has been monitoring in the night sky for quite some time. In an attempt to reconnect with him, Maggie forces herself to put her own feelings aside and goes along with the life Lloyd has made for himself.
The title Acidman sounds more like a superhero movie, but this is nothing like that at all. The story uses the narrative of first contact as means of father and daughter actually making first contact all over again after spending so much time apart. Chris Dowling (Blue Miracle, The Man From Nowhere) and Alex Lehmann’s script digs a lot deeper than expected, causing a genuine emotional response from its viewers. Parenting and trying to right the wrongs we made in the past are central messages that move the story forward in its brisk but welcome 87 minutes runtime.
It’s nice to see Dianna Agron flourish in such a dramatic role next to a seasoned actor like Thomas Haden Church. Both performers are phenomenal in their own way. Agron plays a woman in search of answers and a father figure while going through a big change in her adult life. Haden Church on the other hand has a much more toned down part to play in all of this, which is a nice change of pace when his voice is a statement in itself. Unexpected as it may be, towards the end of the story these two talented actors brought to life I was emotionally invested and looking back at the relationship I have with my own parents.
Director Alex Lehmann (Paddleton, Blue Jay) manages to keep his actors stand out in what feels like a vast landscape, but is in fact a very small scale indie drama. The surrounding nature, beautiful cinematography and immersive sound design accompanied by Christopher French‘s tranquil score, make Acidman a unique viewing experience that looks far beyond the horizon as it reflects back into the personal connections we make throughout our lives.
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), March 30, 2023. Running time: 87 min.
PRODUCTION: A Manageable Monkey & OneWorld Entertainment production in association with Carte Blanche. Producers: Dianna Agron, Christian Agypt, Liz Cardenas (p.g.a.) & Alex Lehmann. Executive producers: Matthew Bradley, Ron Bradley, Luke Daniels, Kim DeLonghi, Laurent Fumeron, Daniel Goroshko, Keanu Mayo, Alan Pao, Rodolphe Sanzé, Kyle Stroud & Sharunya Varriale.
CREW: Director: Alex Lehmann. Writers: Chris Dowling & Alex Lehmann. Cinematography: John Matysiak. Editing: Courtney Ware. Music: Christopher French.
CAST: Dianna Agron, Thomas Haden Church, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris.