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.
Duration: 1hr 37
Version: English, with French subtitles
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