Review: Dreamland

Two-time Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie (I, Tonya; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) produces and stars alongside Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders) in director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s mesmerizing love story set amidst America’s struggle during the Great Depression. Eugene Evans dreams of escaping his small Texas town when he discovers a wounded, fugitive bank robber. Torn between claiming the bounty for her capture and his growing attraction to the seductive criminal, Eugene must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of everyone he’s ever loved. Travis Fimmel, Kerry Condon and Lola Kirke also star in this “beautifully shot coming-of-age story” (David Ehrlich, Indiewire).

Plot: A teenager’s adventures as a bounty hunter takes an unexpected twist.

Release Date: Limited run in theaters November 13th and streaming everywhere November 17th.

Director:  Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Rated R: for some violence, language and sexuality/nudity

Runtime: 101 min

Genre: Mystery And Thriller, Drama

“A strong slow-burn love letter amidst the Great Depression.”

Review: A screener was provided by Paramount for me to review.

Unless you’ve been absent-minded the past few years, you already know that Margot Robbie is on a roll, making anything that has her name on it a must-watch. That ideal continues with the newest movie she stars in and produces, Dreamland. Who doesn’t love an outlaw romance period piece?

In this film Morgot Robbie plays a bank robber with a bounty on her heard by the name of Allison Wells, an outlaw whom is found injured in a barn by a local boy named Eugene Evens (Finn Cole). Instead of turning her in, Eugene starts to fall for her, and in turn, the duo start a tragic love affair as everything around them starts to close in.

This may seem like a film like that would have an abundance of chase scenes between cops and robbers on the outside, but it’s not that all — it’s everything that takes place’s before and after on an emotional level. That strange state of dream and euphoria between Allison and Eugene (the casting is spot on) is what makes this movie work. This film truly feels like a preserved memory — and I think that may have been the point. You can see this is not only in the way the director portrayed the the actors, but how the cinematographer portrayed the atmosphere too.

The way Joris-Peyrafitte showcased the Dust Bowl up close and at a distance was impressive. Wether it was a big and frightening oncoming storm or a subtle view from inside a barn with light seeping in through the cracks — whatever location they used — they brought out all its worth. Furthermore, I loved the way he played with the framing on the more intimate scenes —  it drew you closer from a new perspective I’ve never seen of before. Kudos. (Side note; pay attention to when aspect ratio changes too, it means something — that’s not a spoiler, it’s obvious.)

Personally, I would have loved to see more story with deeper emotion and tension. I’m a fan of the slow-burn and while this movie provides that, I don’t see any reason why this movie couldn’t have been another 30 or 40 minutes longer. With the way the third act breaks out, it left me wanting more. The casting of Margot Robbie and Finn Cole really shine in the third act and (without spoilers) a certain scene or two will authenticate that point. Doubling or even tripling that third act would have done wonders.

If I had to quickly summarize my feelings — trying to keep it to the point — Dreamland is a strong slow-burn love letter amidst the Great Depression I wish I could’ve had more of. It’s a film that’s worth your time, whether you’re in the theater or on the couch at home — watch it.

Are you a fan of this movie? Will you be checking it out in theaters or on VOD? Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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