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Family drama 'A Reason' is overwrought yet underdone

Family drama 'A Reason' is overwrought yet underdone
A scene from "A Reason." (Risberg Schilling Productions)

Interfamily drama takes center stage in writer-director Dominique Schilling's "A Reason."

Suicidal lesbian Serena (Magda Apanowicz) arrives with her controlling brother Nathan (Nick Eversman) at the house of their dying Aunt Irene (Marion Ross). The reason: a reading of her will, before she has died.

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As soon as the will is read, the nieces and nephews start scheming to get a bigger piece of the pie. Nathan throws sister-in-law Bianca (Madeleine Falk) under the bus, while her husband, Chris (Ron Melendez), tries to play peacemaker. Within the repressive atmosphere at prim and proper Irene's house, Nathan's nefarious machinations find traction.

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Unfortunately, "A Reason" doesn't have enough story to justify its running time of nearly two hours, and though the performers are skilled, the melodramatic score and deliberate pace result in a piece that is overwrought but underdone. Narrative twists are telegraphed from yards out, and the resolutions aren't satisfying. It's all concept with very little actual development.

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The film has promising moments and interesting shots, but it never gels.

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"A Reason."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Playing: Arena, Hollywood.

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