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Good cast gives lift to plot’s mediocrity

<p>This is what happens in the Dreamland trailer park, somewhere in New Mexico: A new family arrives on the scene; two best friends fall for the same guy; a past tragedy colours the lives of the people left behind; there’s a disease, and a fateful accident; and there is redemption.</p>



Agnes Bruckner and Kelli Garner star in Dreamland.




Dreamland

Stars: Kelli Gardner, Agnes Bruckner

Director: Jason Matzner

*** (out of five)



This is what happens in the Dreamland trailer park, somewhere in New Mexico: A new family arrives on the scene; two best friends fall for the same guy; a past tragedy colours the lives of the people left behind; there’s a disease, and a fateful accident; and there is redemption.


The video store shelves are filled with movies like this, told with similarly lovely cinematography and a similarly tinkly score. And, like most of those movies, Dreamland was a modest hit at Sundance.


Still, that doesn’t mean Dreamland doesn’t do what it does very well. The director, Jason Matzner, gets terrific work from every one of his actors — from Kelli Garner and Blue Car’s Agnes Bruckner as the improbably hot but believably co-dependent friends at the centre of the romantic triangle; from Justin Long as the guy who, somewhat apologetically, comes between them; from Gina Gershon and Chris Mulkey as Long’s ex-rocker parents, and from John Corbett, in full Jeff Bridges mode, as Bruckner’s agoraphobic, drunken father.


Tom Willett’s screenplay doesn’t necessarily give them anything original or surprising to do — once everything’s lined up, things unfold precisely as they have in every other muted indie drama of this stripe — but they go through the motions with a surprising level of depth and intelligence. And that’s enough to hold your attention, enough to get you to care. Dreamland isn’t a breakthrough or anything, but as these things go, it’s all right.


 
 
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