Milwaukee, Minnesota

Movie Review by Jonathan Harvey

Starring: Troy Garity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern, Hank Harris

Director: Allan Mindel

This charming little independent film tells the story of Albert, a retarded twenty-something living in Milwaukee with his overprotective mum, and who has a special talent – he’s a champion ice fisherman, winning thousands of dollars in prize money in competitions across the state. When his mum’s killed in a suspicious ‘hit and run’ incident, Albert is left alone and is soon preyed upon for his money by both smooth-talking salesman Jerry James and a pair of streetwise teenagers, Tuey and Stan.

It takes a little while to find its feet, but once the main characters are all introduced and the pace subtly quickens it’s hard not to get sucked into what is a simple but infectious story. Troy Garity gives a deftly understated performance as Albert, and fine foils are provided by Randy Quaid (as the scheming Jerry) and particularly Alison Folland’s seductive Tuey. On this evidence both Garity and particularly Folland are ones to watch for the future.

The whole film is cleverly crafted, and screenwriter R D Murphy skillfully interweaves Albert’s attempts to cope alone with the plotting and manoeuvring of everyone who walks into his life. For a feature debut, director Alan Mindel has served up an intriguing little gem, and if you have a soul it’ll surely be touched by the time you reach the poignant ending. Catch this if you can.

5 out of 6 stars

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