Friday, February 12, 2021

Far from the Apple Tree, Even if You're Rolling Downhill

No one understands! You are a relationship oriented gal in a world of goal driven and materialistic blokes. Perhaps even your conscious mind isn't attuned yet to your artistic side. You're seen as a diminutive wallflower...and fear that characterization is accurate. No one will give you a chance, except...well, you'll see. Today we look at a film by Grant McPhee, 2019's "Far from the Apple Tree." 

Our vulnerable heroine, the nubile Judith (Sorcha Groundsell) is the aforementioned dame. Rejected from art school and avoiding her mother, she attends an art show of the occult artist, Roberta (Victoria Liddelle). Our art school reject is transfixed on one photograph in particular and Roberta picks up on this. The next day, Roberta summons Judith. Judith is shocked. She isn't used to anyone paying attention to her. Roberta is bold but accurate and in tearing down Judith...attracts her. Then the occult artist makes Judith an offer she can't refuse. The underconfident Judith accepts. Now Judith will move into Roberta's old mansion estate and archive the artist's work. Why Judith? You'll see. 

Judith is transfixed by the mansion and the artwork. Oops...she's especially transfixed with films and photos of Maddy, Roberta's daughter. Maddy? Maddy and her mom are estranged...or that is what we're initially told. We know better. Hints of Satanism, witchcraft, and some mind altering drugs aren't too subtle. Now Maddy may be on her way back. Roberta's interest in Judith is not as an archiver, but something more ambitious. But wait! Is Judith headed to victimhood...or is she headed down a path in which all her dreams or wishes are fulfilled. Roberta may seem in control, but her past heartaches and failures are also fair game as Maddy's return becomes imminent.

Who is more at risk of losing their personhood and control of their desired destiny, Roberta or Judith? Just what witchcraft and Satanist elements are at work in this old mansion? Exactly what is an occult artist...and are these good peeps to give our lives some needed re-direction? This is an Ira Levin type story with colorful and passionate characters. Judith's hurt and despair ooze to the surface and eventually, so does Roberta's. For some neat neo-Gothic horror, see "Far from the Apple Tree."