Even though its not summer blockbuster season, it was just movie season – er, I mean holiday season – and is now of course, award season. All people are talking about, is Les Miserables and Zero Dark Thirty, with Silver Linings Playbook being the closest thing to an underdog in all the races. Tired of all the hoopla? Well, there’s this little independent movie just out, Fairhaven, and it’s a respite from all the same titles we’ve been talking about for months now – and just as good. Starring Chris Messina (the hottie in The Mindy Project and Argo), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story anyone?!) Rich Sommer (Mad Men), and veteran New York stage actor Tom O’Brien, this small wintery film will fill your soul with warm fuzzy goodness.
And that’s not to say it’s a warm and fuzzy story – more like a look into a quarter life crisis via a small fishing town and its locals. Winner of the Boston Independent Film Festival, Fairhaven was shot in the actual town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts and the neighboring New Bedford – the film follows the reunion of three high school friends after years of being apart, both physically and emotionally. Written, directed, and starring Tom O’Brien, it was hard for me to stop thinking “who is this guy and why isn’t he all over the place?” the whole time. Chris Messina also collaborated on the script and helped turn the vision of Fairhaven into a beautiful reality.
Anyone from a small town knows what its like to either return home or have your friends return home and not be quite so aligned as you once were. And while Sommer, Messina, Paulson, and O’Brien did some of the best acting I’ve seen in a long time (there is a scene between Messina and Paulson that will actually TEAR YOUR HEART OUT) the town of Fairhaven is a character in and of itself – Buzzard’s Bay, the local watering holes, the town hall, the local church – all blanketed with snow. You would never know cinematographer, Peter Simonite isn’t a New England native, but actually a Texan who was impressed by the natural light of Buzzard’s Bay and set out to showcase it. While O’Brien envisioned the story taking place with the backdrop of the colorful Massachusetts Fall, after two inches of snow blanketed the first day of filming, he said he can’t picture the story unfolding any other way now.
After a weekend of catching up, heavy drinking, and revealing confessions, the childhood friends not only reconnect, but also ponder the age old question that New England Patriot, Tom Brady posed in an interview after winning the Superbowl – “Is this all there is?”…
Image via BostonHerald