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Review: 'A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.' savors its silences

Review: 'A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.' savors its silences
Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good in the movie "A Boy. A Girl. A Dream." (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

A romance set against the backdrop of what its characters see as a tragedy, “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.” is a one-night, one-take journey through Los Angeles. In the vein of “Before Sunrise” and “Medicine for Melancholy,” director Qasim Basir’s film explores two people as they feel each other out and watch the other person take shape before them.

On election night 2016, club promoter Cass (Omari Hardwick) leaves his friends at a food truck when he meets enchanting out-of-towner Frida (Meagan Good). As election returns begin to come in and moods begin to drop, Cass and Frida travel across town, spending time in the back seat of cars on their way to and from a party in the Hills. Despite their different backgrounds and experiences, they learn that they share a lot in common, including unrealized dreams.

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Though there are presumably cuts somewhere in “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.,” Basir and cinematographer Steven Holleran make it feel like a single, continuous take. It gives the film a loose feeling, bolstering the authenticity of the performances of Hardwick and Good. Not every directorial choice or camera movement works, but this indie drama shines in the silences. The moments between lines of dialogue are the strongest as Cass and Frida sit side by side and look at each other, with expressions and reactions saved only for us.

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‘A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.’

Rated: R, for language

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Playing: Starts Friday, in limited release

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