3 BACKYARDS – Sundance Movie Review
3 BACKYARDS is not a typical movie and it will not appeal to everyone, but I personally really enjoyed it.
3 Backyards takes a look at an autumn day in the life of 3 different people. The first one is a businessman (Elias Koteas), who has been having marital issues, decides to wanders around his hometown when his flight gets delayed, instead of going home to his wife and daughter. The second one is an eight-year-old girl (Rachel Resheff) who makes an unexpected encounter with an adult on her way to school when she makes a wrong turn. The third one is a housewife (Edie Falco) who goes on a bizarre trip when her neighbor, a famous movie star, asks her for a ride to the ferry.
The reason I loved 3 Backyards so much was because it’s so simple and yet so real at the same time. There isn’t really a beginning or an end to the film, we just meet these characters on a typical day in their lives, which takes a turn they weren’t expecting and changes all of them in unanticipated ways.
Elias Koteas’ character journey shows us how sometimes it’s easier to feel related to someone you don’t know, rather than your own family. By now we all know he’s a great actor, and this is another strong performance from him. I especially liked the story arc for his character.
The little girl, played brilliantly by newcomer Rachel Resheff, depicts how a certain human action is seen through the innocent eyes of a child. Nothing much happens in the story, but I found it really fascinating.
Finally, Edie Falco’s character is my favorite story of the three. It illustrates the fascination people have with celebrities so true to life it’s uncanny. And now that I have seen Adrian Grenier’s wonderful documentary Teenage Paparazzo, it makes me love this story even more.
Director/writer Eric Mendelsohn has created quite a wonderful film that is so true that it just captivates you. It does have a pretty slow pace, but it fits perfectly in order to illustrate real life.
Overall, I think 3 Backyards is a really beautiful, artistic film that I think is absolutely worth watching if it sounds like something you might enjoy. I personally now want to check out Eric Mendelsohn’s previous film, Judy Berlin.