World Sales: Peter Broderick

Scalene is a conceptual thriller told from three viewpoints. The film opens with a mother’s clumsy, but deter- mined attempt to kill Paige, a student who helps care for her brain-damaged son, Jakob. Paige has accused Jakob of rape, and, as a result, he has been confined to a psychiatric institution.
The story told through the eyes of Janice, the mother and of Paige focus on more than factual events: they also lay bare emotional states and moral dilemmas. Janice’s story unwinds in reverse chronology, walking viewers backwards through her premeditated murder attempt, revealing the drudgery of her life and her deficiencies as a mother. Paige’s version is the key that presents the unimaginable truth in terms of events, though her interpretation may be flawed. Jakob’s dreamlike story reflects his mental and spatial disorien- tation in a mix of memory and fantasy. Together as a whole, the three stories form a tangle of sentiments, actions and reactions as unbalanced as the scalene triangle that aptly names the film.

With an excellent cast all round, particularly exceptional is Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby) as the ambiguous mother and Adam Scarimbolo as the silent but intense Jakob. A meticulously crafted film from Zack Parker, Scalene is a New York Times “Critic’s Pick”. Parker’s filmography includes Inexchange in 2006, followed by Quench in 2008.


Country: USA

Year: 2011

Duration: 1hr 37

Version: English, with French subtitles

Rating: 12+

Cast & Credits

Director: Zach Parker

Producer: Zach Parker

Screenplay: Brandon Owens, Zack Parker

Cinematography: Jim Timperman

Editing: Zach Parker

Music: the Newton Brothers

Cast: Margo Martindale, Adam Scarimbolo, Hanna Hall