Friday, February 12, 2016
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.