Venue: San Francisco International Film Festival.
SAN FRANCISCO--- Marin County filmmakers Logan and Noah Miller make a promising writing/directing debut in “Touching Home,” a poignant, largely autobiographical film notable for its formidable Northern California production team including former Lucasfilm president Gordon Radley, a casting coup that scored Ed Harris and awkward acting by the Millers, who essentially play themselves in this thinly veiled true story about identical twins and their alcoholic, homeless father. The film has a shot at limited art house release.
Despite dialogue devoid of subtext, weaknesses in the screenplay and uneven performances, the story, as rendered, has a disarming innocence. The first-time filmmakers are particularly adroit in conveying the unbearable helplessness that comes with loving a parent bent on self destruction. Harris is haunted and vulnerable as the father, a broken, taciturn man who neglects his sons when they’re young and whose sickness and death later threaten to derail their dreams of playing major league baseball.
Brad Dourif and the reliable Robert Forster do solid work in supporting roles but, it’s Harris’s quiet power which raises the level of the enterprise while inadvertently showing up the deficiencies of the non-professional performers, especially the Millers, who are too close to the material. One is a hothead, the other reflective but beyond that distinction it’s a struggle to tell them apart, not only because of the obvious physical resemblance but because of insufficient character development.
Veteran editor Robert Dalva, Skywalker Sound pros, Marc Berger and Chris Boyes, and Ricardo Jacques Gale’s crisp cinematography transform an otherwise modest indie into a remarkably polished production.
Production company: Winston Movie. Cast: Ed Harris, Brad Dourif, Robert Forster, Logan Miller, Noah Miller, Ishiah Benben, Evan Jones, Lee Meriwether, Brandon Hanson. Director: Logan Miller, Noah Miller. Screenwriters: Logan Miller, Noah Miller. Executive producers: Brian Vail, Gordon Radley. Producer: Jeromy Zajonc. Director of photography: Ricardo Jacques Gale. Production designer: Roy Rede. Music: Martin Davich. Costume designer: Inanna Bantu. Editor: Robert Dalva. Sales Agent: none. No MPAA rating, 115 minutes.