Natural Selection [Blu-ray]
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Linda White, a barren Christian housewife, leads a sheltered existence in suburban Texas. Her world is turned upside-down when she discovers that her dying husband, Abe, has a 23-year old illegitimate son named Raymond living in Florida. Somewhere on the edge of guilt and loneliness, Linda grants Abe's final wish and sets off on a quixotic journey to find Raymond and bring him back before her husband passes away. Along the way, Linda's wonderfully bizarre relationship with Raymond will teach her more about herself than she ever imagined possible and force her to come to terms with her troubled past.
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"Natural Selection" (2011 release; 90 min.) brings the story of Linda (played by Rachael Harris), who lives within a closed Christian comunity in suburban Houston. Linda finds out that her husband Abe has a 23 yr. old son, now living in Florida, the result of Abe's frequent visits (unbeknownst to Linda) to the local sperm donor bank. Abe suffers a stroke and may be in his last days, and as a last wish, he asks Linda to look up his son and bring him back for one final visit. Linda obliges and finds Raymond (played by Matt O'Leary). Raymong couldn't be more different from Linda ans his only motivation to join Linda for the drive back is that he seems to be in trouble with the law. What we get next is a road movie that chronicles the ups and downs of Linda and Raymond. To tell you more about the plot would surely ruin your viewing pleasure, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: it takes the movie a while to hit its stride. As the stage-setting scenes play out in the beginning, I found it all to be quite unnatural and even a bit forced. But then a magical thing happens: the Linda and Raymond characters are played perfectly against each other, and simply create something specical on the screen. The pivotal moment in the movie comes about half-way, when one evening Linda and Raymond break into a closed restaurant as they are desparate for food, and then start telling deep personal secrets about themselves to the other. Prepare to be surprised and moved! Kudos to writer-director Robbie Pickering for bringing us a different slice of life. And the acting awards that Racheal Harris won for this movie are absolutely deserved, she carries this movie on her shoulders from start to finish. Bottom line: if you are in the mood for a quality indie movie that is miles away from your standard Hollywwod fare and in fact is slightly left-of-center in the best possible way, you cannot go wrong with "Natural Selection"!
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