Frameline43 Film Review: “More Beautiful for Having Been Broken”

In the new drama from director Nicole Conn (Claire of the Moon; Elena Undone, Frameline34), boy wonder Freddie, who lives with a chronic illness, charms three broken women into his healing embrace. His single mother Samantha tries to cope by dancing, newcomer McKenzie runs, and Vivienne drinks. Each is isolated. Nothing but surrendering to passion, trusting in life, and receiving a greater love can fully help them move through their intertwined grief and loss.

McKenzie (Zoe Ventoura) just wants to be left alone in the glorious Northern California mountains to outrun the pain of losing her mother, but Freddie (an irresistible Cale Ferrin) is determined to bring her into his loving, eccentric community, despite her resistance. Past betrayals keep Samantha (Kayla Radomski) tight and prickly, but flowing scenes of her dancing show her true inner nature. The two women risk closeness, as wild card Vivienne (Harley Jane Kozak, When Harry Met Sally‚Ķ) must face a fractured relationship and a secret past. Ultimately Freddie is the golden card that brings them all together, leading them to find new strength in their vulnerability.