Friday, February 12, 2016


Saw a screening of this film last night at The Actor's Studio in New York and was knocked out by the story and the acting. Adapted from a play by writer/director Mark Kemble, the plot involves a crucial week in the lives of a Staten Island family with a drug addicted Iraq war veteran oldest son, a younger son who can't live up to his older brother's athletic and war legends, or his father's, and a younger daughter severely autistic.

It stars one of my oldest and best friends, Karen Allen, who gives an Oscar worthy performance as the mother of an initially depressingly dysfunctional family, which through sheer will and perseverance she keeps functional. She has several scenes that are indelible, unique in every way (I have never seen anything like them before in any film, which makes BAD HURT worth watching just to experience that) and even some poetic lines to soften and illuminate an otherwise tough, working-class, Irish-American woman.

Several of the actors give Oscar worthy performances, especially Michael Harney as the father, Iris Gilad as the autistic daughter, Theo Rossi as the younger son, a nice guy who does his best to help his mother keep the family together, and Calvin Dutton as the daughter's love interest, also severely autistic.

It just started a run on 12th Street in Manhattan and in a few other cities. I wish it had come out before the end of the year to be eligible for the awards season, because it is a small masterpiece of filmmaking. The subject matter and realistic handling of the family's individual and group struggles makes for a challenging experience, but if you sit through the entire film you will be greatly rewarded, at least I was, with tears of joy, replacing the ones of sadness and sympathy.

1 comment:

Jamieson Stern said...

Lally -- Thank you for the great post about Bad Hurt. I'm the co-writer & producer (& a fellow member of the Actors Studio). Would you be willing to share your blog post on Rotten Tomatoes (under Audience Reviews) and/or on IMDB? We're really trying to get the word out without much support from the distributor. Those two sites are visited regularly and you obviously put a lot of thought into your comments. Thanks for taking the time -- Jamieson Stern