The Moya View

Brutal Season: Death of a Family’s Soul

Summary via IMDB:

In 1948, the Trouths are facing no income and the hottest summer on record. When their estranged son inexplicably returns, the apartment is full again – but is it big enough for the gambling, trauma, and substantial life insurance policy that comes in his wake?

Brutal Season is a throwback drama that harkens back to the early live television drama series of the 1950s, particularly Playhouse 90. Once you get beyond the one set stage bound homage, the emotive yet buttoned up acting, Brutal Season is an effective family drama about a prodigal son’s return.

It takes its time and delivers its characters and action with a slow yet deliberate build up that ratchets up the story. It has the feel of a classic Arthur Miller play, a cross between All My Sons and Death of a Salesman.

There is an intimate death dance occurring between father and older returning son, between forgiveness and the idea that people can change- and revenge for parental crimes and that nothing can ever change. Sobriety does not bring relief from sober reality.

Family, Brutal Season implies is a tragedy of the genes, the sins of the fathers forever being inherited, and repeated with good intentions the paving stones that become generational tombstones.

It’s nice to know that some filmmakers can find power and inspiration in the revitalization of old forms. Brutal Season gets a 4.0 out of 5 or an A-.

Brutal Season is part of the 10th annual Chattanooga Film Festival playing online and IRL through June 29th.





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