A man returns to his home town to attend his mother's funeral. He stays with his brother, but is soon caught up in the brother's personal issues which involves a baby which he soon has to look after. At the same time he starts going back to a girl he had sex with many years ago. But past and present drama begins to wear him down, and he can't take it anymore.
The reasoning behind wanting to review this film is simple - I heard the title from a trustworthy source, and the name was interesting. I didn't look into this one bit before I watched it, and I'm sort of glad I didn't. So perhaps you shouldn't even read this review? All kidding aside, I'm glad I went after this film, and that I had no expectations. This is the sort of film you know will take an ugly turn at some point, but you're not entirely sure when, why and what the turn will be. What makes it worse is that the film is ugly to begin with.
Another story of a return to a home town. Another white trash home town. And another miserable story taking place. But "Bubba Moon Face" isn't quite like the others. It may share a lot of it, but the thing that sets it apart the most is the atmosphere. In this story we have a man returning to his home town because his mother died. He decides to stay with his brother, but quickly regrets his choice when a woman stumbles into the house handing him a baby. The baby is his brother's, and the woman is soon moving in. The brother and the woman show no interest in the baby and he has to take of it. Soon they also have their strange father in the house, and the brother can't stand being there anymore. He spends his time with a girl he has a history with - he had sex with her when she was twelve. When you think this depressing family situation is at its lowest, it takes a turn and enough is enough.
This is a very independent film, and it's done as you would expect one to be, but somehow it also relies on that indie spirit and atmosphere to make it complete. Small things like using natural lighting becomes important. It's just a down-and-dirty family drama that gets more and more bleak by the minute, and the look and feel of the film goes together perfectly with that. The only issue with the production is the sound, as its hard to hear what's being said at times. But the rest of it feels right. It could be made with lots of money and slick production values, but it wouldn't come off as the depressing movie that it is. So for that I am grateful for the indie scene and what it can bring.
The acting is also very important to movies like this one, and this is spot on. Believable and realistic - unlike some other white trash stories where they go over-the-top with certain personality traits. In "Bubba Moon Face", good guys and bad guys both have their ugly sides, and early on it's hard to know where the two are seperated. This is a delicate line, actually. Because if the good guy is slightly bad, and the bad guys aren't EXTREMELY bad, they might come off as very similar. And they do, but the acting is what splits them and ultimately gives us the person we should root for. In case the story doesn't help you understand that already, of course.
For most of the time "Bubba Moon Face" is a slow, boiling drama, and because of that the smaller things feel bigger. The end is definitely a big bang, and the climax we have all been waiting for, but there are smaller bangs through-out the film that feel stronger because it's such a monotone movie overall. I always seem to enjoy that for some reason.
Finally, I do recommend "Bubba Moon Face". It's not for everyone, and it's a very small production, but it's interesting. Whether you're interested in the "love" between our lead and the girl, or in the family drama, or even why it's called "Bubba Moon Face", one thing is for sure: you won't turn off your mind watching this. It's slow but it's going somewhere, and it's far from mindless. If you want to watch something familiar done differently, then give it a go. I can't promise you will feel good afterwards, but I'm sure you will feel SOMETHING. That's more than a lot of movies have to offer.