'Windsor Drive': Film Review

Courtesy of Indican Pictures
All style and no substance.

Natalie Bible's surreal debut feature depicts the emotional unraveling of an aspiring actor.

Natalie Bible's debut feature arrives courtesy of Absinthe Productions, and a large shot of the potent liquor for which it's named would go a long way towards making this surreal psychological thriller more palatable. Windsor Drive strains so hard to produce a hallucinogenic effect that narrative coherence flies out the window.  

T.R. Gough's oblique screenplay concerns River Miller (Tommy O'Reilly), a mentally unstable, aspiring actor going off the deep end after the suicide (or was it murder?) of his beautiful girlfriend Jordana (Jillian Murray, frequently seen in flashbacks in which she's rocking a red bikini). After dumping Jordana's successor, the unrelentlingly needy Brooke (Samaire Armstrong), River decamps to Hollywood where he hopes to land a role in an upcoming film by a hotshot female director.

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He finds a room in a decaying '20s era mansion with hipster Wulfric (Kyan DuBois), who sports a waxed moustache, and the Goth-like Ivy (Anna Biani), a couple whose relationship is enigmatic at best. In addition to enjoying a secret liaison with Ivy, River also begins courting the wholesome June (Mandy Musgrave), who not by coincidence works at the agency casting the film. Although initially resistant to his advances due to her understandable aversion to dating actors, she eventually succumbs to his lupine charms. Suffice it to say that it doesn't work out very well.

Concentrating on depicting River's descent into madness, director Bible resorts to a countless array of visual tricks that mainly involve framing and reframing the action from various angles and perspectives. Using repetition as a leitmotif and heavily employing optical effects, jagged editing and an oppressive musical score, the tedious film attempts to immerse us in its central character's fractured emotional state without providing any clear insight as to what's caused it. Lacking a compelling storyline and convincing performances, Windsor Drive ultimately proves a dead end.

Production: Absinthe Productions

Cast: Tommy O'Reilly, Mandy Musgrave, Samaire Armstrong, Jilian Murray, Anna Biani, Matt Cohen, Kyan DuBois

Director/editor: Natalie Bible

Screenwriter: T.R. Gough

Producers: Brieanna Steele, David Palmer, Natalie Bible

Executive producers: T.R. Gough, Sharon Meredith

Director of photography: Carl Bartels

Production designer: Bri Renae

Costume designer: Natalie O'Brien

Composer: Karsten Shreve

Not rated, 83 min.