Monday, April 24, 2017

Cherish (2002 film)

Written and directed by Finn Taylor, Cherish is the story of an eccentric young woman who is a major suspect in a hit-and-run manslaughter case as she is on house arrest while wondering where her stalker is as he was the one that put her in the situation. The film is a genre-bending film as it mixes suspense, romance, and comedy as it revolves around a woman trying to find the real killer as she gets help from a parole officer. Starring Robin Tunney, Tim Blake Nelson, Lindsay Crouse, Liz Phair, Brad Hunt, Nora Dunn, and Jason Priestley. Cherish is a charming and delightful film from Finn Taylor.

The film revolves around this shy and quirky woman who goes out one night only to be held hostage by a mysterious stalker in which she kills a cop in a hit-and-run as she is put on house arrest. It’s a film with a simple premise yet the character of Zoe Adler (Robin Tunney) is an odd protagonist as she is this computer animator with a lack of confidence as she is unaware that she is being stalked by a mysterious man who would later put her in trouble. Even as she is someone that escapes through music of the 70s and 80s where it would help her cope with being in house arrest as she would befriend this deputy named Bill (Tim Blake Nelson) who comes in occasionally to check on her bracelet where he would eventually help her. Finn Taylor’s screenplay doesn’t just explore Zoe’s eccentric behavior but also having her be determined to find the stalker who ruined her life. Even as she also copes with loneliness where she is also able to befriend neighbors and other people in the apartment she is forced to stay in.

Taylor’s direction definitely has some elements of style such as an intricately-filmed opening credits sequence at the building that Zoe works at with its usage of crane shots. Still, Taylor opts for something more simplistic to play into Zoe’s quirky personality with playful shots as well as compositions to showcase her sense of isolation and the need to connect. There are some usages of close-ups and medium shots to play into Zoe’s sense of intimacy while there are also some creative wide shots to play into the scope of the apartment she’s living in as well as the locations as a lot of it shot in San Francisco and places in the Bay Area. The film’s third act would change in tone where it does become a suspense film but it adds to a sense of growth to Zoe in her quest to find the man who ruined her life. Yet, Taylor would create a climax that is quite engaging as it play into everything that Zoe had been through and her determination to prove her innocence. Overall, Taylor creates an exhilarating yet lively film about a woman coping with isolation as she tries to find the stalker that ruined her.

Cinematographer Barry Stone does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as it is largely straightforward with some grainy film stock for some of the fantasy scenes shown from the stalker’s perspective. Editor Rick LeCompte does brilliant work with the editing as it emphasizes a lot on style from jump-cuts, montages, and other moments that play into its humor and suspense. Production designer Don Day, with set decorator Lisa Clark and art director Guy Harrington, does fantastic work with the look of the condo Zoe had early in the film to the apartment she is forced to stay at. Costume designer Amy Brownson does nice work with the costumes from the quirky clothes that Zoe wears to the more straight-laced look of Bill.

The visual effects work of Adrian Dimond is terrific for some of the minimal moments such as a few time-lapse sequences and some of the fantasy scenes involving the stalker. Sound editor David Nelson does superb work with the sound in the way it’s mixed and how music is presented as well as other moments that play into the world that Zoe is in. The film’s music by Mark De Gil Antoni is wonderful for its mixture of jazz and electronic music that play into the suspense and humor while music supervisor Charles Raggio an incredible soundtrack that features an array of music from the late 1960s to the early 1980s from acts such as the Association, Hall & Oates, Terry Jacks, Human League, Modern English, Soft Cell, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, America, 10cc, Maze, the Turtles, Togetherness, the Style Council, the Flamingos, the Impressions, and the Climax Blues Band plus more contemporary music from Noe Venable.

The casting by Joseph Middleton is remarkable as it feature some notable small roles from Ricardo Gil as a paralyzed-dwarf neighbor named Max, Kenny Kwong as a teen Zoe befriends in Yung, Kelvin Han Yee as an officer who often accompanies Bill, Nina Pescheke-Koedt and Daniel DeShara as Eastern European neighbors living above Zoe, Phil LeMarr as a yoga instructor, and Lindsay Crouse as Zoe’s therapist early in the film who analyzes Zoe’s own loneliness. Nora Dunn is terrific as Zoe’s attorney who tries to get Zoe a reduced sentence while Liz Phair is superb as Zoe’s very bitchy boss who doesn’t really care about her. Jason Priestley is excellent as Andrew as a hunky co-worker of sorts that Zoe meets at a bar and dances with on the night her life would go to shit.

Brad Hunt is brilliant as the voice of a DJ that Zoe listens to in retro music that he plays. Tim Blake Nelson is amazing as Bill Daly as a deputy who puts bracelets on criminals as he sympathizes and befriends Zoe where he would help as well as put some joy into his very mundane life. Finally, there’s Robin Tunney in a phenomenal performance as Zoe Adler as a shy and eccentric woman whose life changes by a fatal hit-and-run she was unfortunately involved in as she copes with her loneliness by looking at the world around her and try to find her stalker as it’s a very charming performance from Tunney.

Cherish is an incredible film from Finn Taylor that features a mesmerizing performance from Robin Tunney. Along with a strong supporting cast, an intriguing premise, and a fun soundtrack, the film is definitely a fascinating portrait of loneliness as well a woman’s determination to reclaim her life. In the end, Cherish is a marvelous film from Finn Taylor.

© thevoid99 2017


Professor Brian O'Blivion said...

Watched this film a film a few years ago, really loved it.

Brittani Burnham said...

I've never heard of this but it sounds like something I'd dig.

Anonymous said...

You had me at genre bending.

thevoid99 said...

@Professor Brian O'Blivion-It's been a long time since I've seen as I finally re-watched it this weekend as it still holds up.

@Brittani-If you have Starz!, I think it will come on again as it's just a nice little gem.

@vinnieh-It is a genre-bender but a damn good one.

Anonymous said...

I don't know this one either but I will certainly keep my eye out.

thevoid99 said... you have Starz, see it.