I'll Come Running

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Venue: Los Angeles Film Festival.

Some of the most provocative recent films, including “Babel,” “The Visitor,” and “The Edge of Heaven,” have dramatized encounters of people from different cultures. While these films frequently focus on the tragic consequences of such culture clashes, they remind us that we live in a shrinking world where interdependence is crucial. The latest movie to bring this theme into focus, “I'll Come Running,” has its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. While not as seamless as some of those earlier movies, it's an affecting drama of people from different nationalities trying to bridge the gulf that divides them.

“Running” begins with a group of Danish tourists visiting the Alamo and deriding the alien universe of Texas. Enjoying a night on the town in nearby Austin, Pelle (Jon Lange) hooks up with Veronica (Melonie Diaz). A one-night stand leads to a more serious infatuation, but Pelle is set to return to Denmark. An unexpected accident throws everything into turmoil and leads Veronica to travel to Denmark. There she meets Pelle's best friend and family. All of these characters are profoundly changed by a chance encounter that started on a dance floor in Texas.

Diaz (“Raising Victor Vargas,” “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”) holds the film together. The role allows her to demonstrate toughness as well as curiosity about all the heartbreaking surprises that life has in store for us. Lange and Christian Tafdrup as Pelle's best friend both bring the requisite magnetism to their roles. There are times when the budgetary limitations hurt the film; some crucial dramatic moments take place offscreen. Still, cinematographer Siobhan Walshe captures the contrasts in the two worlds that Veronica navigates. The open-ended conclusion is honest but somehow less than fully satisfying, and the film as a whole must be considered a flawed but compelling foray into cross-cultural confusion.

Cast: Melonie Diaz, Jon Lange, Christian Tafdrup, Birgitte Raaberg, Hallie Bulleit, Mads Norby. Director: Spencer Parsons. Screenwriters: Line Langebek Knudsen, Spencer Parsons. Executive producers: Thomas Lydholm, Rajen Savjani, Jesper Zartov. Producers: Lars Knudsen, Anish Savjani, Jay Van Hoy. Director of photography: Siobhan Walshe. Production designer: Elliott Hostetler. Music: Graham Reynolds. Costume designer: Caroline Karlen. Editor: David Fabelo. Production companies: Film Science, Van Hoy/Knudsen Productions.
No MPAA rating, 112 minutes.


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