Cinema Review: Sadie | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, June 6th, 2020  


Studio: Pressing Pictures
Directed by Megan Griffiths

Oct 11, 2018 Web Exclusive
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Megan Griffiths' Sadie is a strange little beast. At times, it feels like nothing is happening as we watch the 13-year-old title character (played by Sophia Mitri Schloss) try to make sense out of every day life. On the other hand, everything is happening around her, her life changes by the minute and she is forced to adapt even when she is entirely resistant to do so.

Sadie's father has been serving overseas for a few years already and continues to add time to his deployment. She constantly writes him letters and leaves him messages but rarely hears back. Sadie worships her father and doesn't let herself get discouraged by any lack of acknowledgment.

She lives with her mother Rae (the always welcomed Melanie Lynskey), who isn't in as much of a hurry to see her husband come back. She has come to terms with the fact that her husband would rather continue to be overseas than come back home to her and Sadie. Naturally, Sadie gets defensive when Bradley (Tony Hale) starts spending too much time around their home, even when Rae has shown no reciprocated interest in him. She becomes even more displeased when her mother begins dating their neighbor Cyrus (John Gallagher Jr.). No one will replace her father, even if her mother is looking to.

Sadie is set in a trailer park and Griffiths creates a small village-like atmosphere and an oddball family out of the characters. Sadie is friends with the often-bullied Francis (Keith L. Williams), who lives with his mom Carla (Danielle Brooks) and grandpa (Tee Dennard). The entire community has a lived-in quality, which allows us to feel like these characters have been known each other for years.

There are moments when the movie feels meandering, like it is desperately searching for a story for these characters. Shame on me for thinking that because Griffiths is sneaky; she layers the movie, finding nuances in the most mundane moments of the characters everyday lives. A dark, morose cloud hangs over every frame and things get considerably darker as the movie approaches its final act.  Sadie might seem simple but it lingers.

Author rating: 7/10

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