Review: To Whom It May Concern

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Title: To Whom It May Concern
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Manu Boyer
Starring: Dawn Olivieri, Wilmer Valderrama, Paloma Guzmán
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins


What It Is: A mentally unstable bartender is meticulously planning her suicide when she makes an unexpected friend. To Whom It May Concern offers an intimate perspective on depression and loneliness, and how they can come to affect every aspect of life.

What We Think: Among the highlights of the film are the performances of Olivieri as the brooding Anna and Valderrama as Sam. Their relationship is the core of the entire story, and it feels natural and realistic from the start. Anna’s depression is the subject of multiple scenes, and while some devices felt cliché (like the pill bottles and the broken mirror) her character was accessible and relatable. When showing Anna’s perspective, Boyer often shows important parts of a scene in extreme, disorienting close up, or even blocks them from the camera’s view altogether, frustrating the audience and letting them feel more like how Anna does. Details like these make the film unique and distinguish it from the number of other movies that tell a similar story.

Our Grade: B+, From a broad perspective the script feels like a lot of other stories about suicide, but its details and nuances give it individuality. The characters are the best part of the film, from Anna and Sam to the old lady with the parrot, each one adds to the viewing experience while still staying grounded within the story, not feeling forced or contrived. While it can be slow at times, this film is down-to-earth, realistic, compelling, and a first-rate tearjerker.

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