“Snapshots” nicely shuttles between past and present to tell its affecting, evocative tale of familial and romantic love among several generations of women. But it’s the flashbacks that prove more wholly compelling here, so much so that they could have made for their own standalone film.
The title refers to the old photos that jog the memory of 85-year-old widow Rose (Piper Laurie) during a weekend visit to her scenic Missouri lake house by judgmental daughter Patty (Brooke Adams) and anxious granddaughter Allison (Emily Baldoni), both of whom are struggling with an array of life issues.
The unearthed snapshots take Rose back more than 50 years to her early marriage to adman Joe (Max Adler) and their friendship with musician Zee (Brett Dier) and his bold, free-spirited wife, Louise (a captivating Emily Goss). The covert, ahead-of-its-time romance that develops between Louise and the young Rose (Shannon Collis), stirringly and tenderly handled by director Melanie Mayron, gives the film a rich and haunting center.
Unfortunately, the script by Jan Miller Corran and Katherine Cortez (story by Corran, based on true events), is saddled with too much expository dialogue and a few key contrivances that undercut the film’s more convincing, heartfelt moments.
Still, to witness acting veteran Piper Laurie divulge her character’s long buried secret with such beauty and conviction is worth the sometimes bumpy road it takes to get there.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills