out of Five
Running Time: 103
9 Full Moons is an offbeat and daringly romantic American indie drama, and impressive first feature from Tomer Almagor, about two troubled souls connecting and finding their paths in life.
What’s it all about?
Struggling music producer Lev is strangely drawn to enigmatic party girl Frankie, and after a chance meeting the two embark on a whirlwind romance.
9 Full Moons’ dark and tumultuous opening introduces us extremely well to Frankie’s numbness with a fun night turning into the most horrible experience when she is raped by an acquaintance. Almagor doesn’t skim over the issue allowing Frankie to deal with this ordeal in her own time, with it forever rippling and coming back to haunt her.
All the performances are low key with Almagor choosing to tell the story of each person through their reactions and interactions with one another. Many of his characters suffer from afflictions and addictions. Frankie and country music singer Charlie King Nash (who Lev works with) are both alcoholics and it is to Almagor’s credit as to how he deals with their road to recovery. Nearly every frame of this film includes an image of booze swilling or a bottle of alcohol dotted in the background reflecting the unspoken sadness of these tragic characters battling with their demons.
Donal Logue is superb as Charlie King Nash, at once cocksure and vulnerable, and his storyline with Lev plays out in a very interesting way.
Amy Seimetz is fast becoming a face to watch, she chooses her films wisely, and the complex role of Frankie in 9 Full Moons is perfect for her. She delivers an understated but powerful performance as an alcoholic coming to terms with a tragic past and learning to trust again. Her hazy, drunken lifestyle is never challenged by Lev who accepts her as she is with the ability to change her ways lying in her hands only. Almagor tells the stories of Lev and Frankie with his own distinct style and deals with their issues with subtlety.
9 Full Moons heads to the road less travelled which makes this love story all the more endearing to watch as it defies the usual expectations of this kind of film.
9 Full Moons is a deeply moving and romantic American indie that deals with the love story in a surprising manner and should linger long after watching. Tomer Almagor is one to watch.
9 Full Moons (tbc)