Bleeding Love (2023)

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Bleeding Love (2023). 1h 36m

“Greetings again from the darkness. There is no shortage of movies depicting the challenges associated with being a parent, although there is an added element of interest when a real-life father and daughter are cast in the lead roles (remember PAPER MOON with Ryan and Tatum Ou0026#39;Neal?). Such is the case with this first feature film from director Emma Westenberg, co-written by Vera Bulder, Ruby Caster, and Elle Malan. Ewan McGregor and his daughter Clara McGregor co-star in a dramatic father-daughter road movie filled with awkward moments.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNo character names are given, so weu0026#39;ll have to refer to them as Ewan/father and Clara/daughter. After Clara overdoses, long-estranged dad shows up to drive her from San Diego to Santa Fe, where he tells her she can stay with an artist friend in hopes of rekindling her passion for art. Of course, that is a lie because thatu0026#39;s what dadu0026#39;s do after theyu0026#39;ve drunkenly walked away from their family years ago. Ewan plays a recovering alcoholic who has started a new life by re-marrying and having a young son. Clara, on the other hand, is an addict with no direction in life, other than wanting to run from dad and get the next fix.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThese two mismatched blood relatives have only flashbacks to her childhood in common. Dad is trying to make amends, and 20-year-old daughter just pouts and spews anger. Itu0026#39;s a road trip movie that requires only one night in a roadside motel. When Dadu0026#39;s truck breaks down, they encounter a live-wire tow truck driver (Kim Zimmer), who drops them at a small town birthday party where the big gift for a young boy is a rifle. Itu0026#39;s here where Clara meets a young man (Jake Weary, excellent in the series u0026quot;Animal Kingdomu0026quot;, and Ms. Zimmeru0026#39;s real-life son) who assists with some much needed booze for the underage lass. Once back on the road, Clara gets a spider bite on her lady bits, and itu0026#39;s a local prostitute (Vera Bulder) dreaming of Broadway who provides guidance.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eA road trip movie typically requires these types of interactions to hold our interest, but the missed opportunity here comes from real life father-daughter dynamics. Ewan and Clara play off each other very well, but simply needed more friction and conflict to make this believable. The expected reconciliation hits too few speed bumps, and a hokey AA meeting produces more cringe than tears. The movie feels over-directed, when letting these two go at each other full force is what they needed … and what we needed as viewers.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn select theaters and OnDemand beginning February 16, 2024.”


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