Review: The Year Between (Tribeca 2022)

Title: The Year Between
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Alex Heller
Starring: Alex Heller, Steve Buschemi, J. Smith-Cameron
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins

What It Is: Clemence (Heller) is a newly dropped out college student headed back home to live in her parent’s basement. She’s JUST been diagnosed with a mental illness and a lot of the influences around her aren’t the best. That being said she’s trying to live a normal life but instead is making everyone around a little less sane by the day. How exactly will she deal with this as well as everything else going on inside that head of hers?

What We Think: The dialogue in recent years ABOUT mental health is getting there. A film like this certainly helps. Heller (who writes, directs, and stars) is absolutely stellar here. She’s so charmingly unlikable. That’s part of the overall charm of the film. The trainwreck that is Clemence. Heller frames the film well enough and all in all, it works from an artistic standpoint even if it never quite gets into the aesthetically superior range. Where this film delivers is in the storytelling. It’s simple and effective and Alex Heller is a riot. This film is actually really funny and is a total blast and bummer simultaneously. Steve Buschemi still rules and plays the concerned father really well. By the end, Clemence has been on a journey and we’re here for it.

Our Grade: A-, This film does exactly what it sets out to do. It wants you to fall in love with Clemence even through all of the things she has to go through. J. Smith-Cameron is so good here as Clemence’s mother Sherri. She’s the heart of the film and I saw a lot of my very own mother in Sherri. This film comes highly recommended.