Drake Doremus continues to shine as he premieres his new film Breathe In at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Returning to work with Doremus is Felicity Jones, co-starring alongside Guy Pierce in an intimate film chronicling the stories of two individuals as they begin to create a special connection.
What follows is the formation of a special relationship between these two characters that threatens to tear Pierce’s on screen family apart.
Pierce plays Keith Reynolds, a music teacher who aspires for greater things in life. He disguises his dissatisfaction from his wife and daughter with ease, all the while attending auditions and hoping for a chance at greater success. Felicity Jones soon enters, playing Sophie, a gifted music student who arrives in Upstate New York as part of an exchange programme.
For Sophie, it’s a chance to really find herself as it appears events back home have caused her to drift across the home to find herself. She’s lost, but doesn’t isolate herself. As the film progresses and she ingratiates herself with her host family, the bond between Keith & Sophie strengthens as they begin to share emotional moments and secrets with each other; which leads to very intense scenes throughout the film.
That’s really the film in a nutshell: intense. It’s a film powered by emotion and feelings, as well as characters becoming interlocked in personal battles with other people, as well as themselves. You come to believe in the relationships being formed, as well as how they react to finding about something, and what they do next to combat those feelings.
In particular, a performance highlight comes from newcomer Mackenzie Davies, who plays Keith’s daughter Lauren. She has a pretty realistic look and personality for a 21st century teen. Warm, confident and friendly, but could and will ultimately turn on you in a heartbeat. She’s portrayed wonderfully by Mackenzie, who I have no doubt is on the same path to stardom that Doremus walked a handful of years ago.
As a filmmaker, Doremus has a real talent for camera work and cinematography. His films look and feel like indie films, ranging from handheld camera work, to cinematography really reflecting the film’s atmosphere, mood, and the emotions and feelings of the central characters featured in the scenes.
He also makes great use of music, with memorable classical pieces perfectly capturing the mood and overall tone of the plot’s pacing. What’s unique about Doremus as a filmmaker is that he is able to juggle all these elements of a film really well, without having one of them slip up and ruin the film entirely.
Breathe In continues Drake Doremus’ impressive string of strong independent films that not only tell powerful, captivating stories, but also showcase the possibilities and potentials that independent cinema can achieve. As well as the creativity that can be done on a low budget. With solid performances, impressive camera work and music, it’s a film with a really strong story to tell.
Breathe In is in UK cinemas from the 19th July