Wri/Dir: David Manchoian | Cast: Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Michael Raymond James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carl Kennedy | US Drama 96’
Contrary to the promise of the title Joseph Chambers is largely a twit with earnest intentions of proving his manhood with a flimsy excuse of providing for his family by bringing home the bacon in the shape of a deer,
This flimsy but faintly amusing morality tale is David Manchoian’s follow up to his incendiary drama The Killing of Two Lovers which had less of a plot but far more complexity and soul, both features exploring the deepest reaches of the male psyche in down at heel contemporary rural America.
Once again Clayne Crawford plays the man in question (and also serves as producer), but this time he is a much valued lover to Tess (Jordana Brewster), an inexperienced hunter who fancies his chances of shooting a deer to keep the proverbial wolf away from the door. But we have much less sympathy for him than for his previous character David in The Killing.
The Integrity is slow-burning to point of pulling teeth. But to his credit, Machoian’s rigour is once again to be admired along with Peter Albrechtsen’s seething soundscape which creates the film’s compelling atmosphere in the bosky foothills of the Appalchians where Joseph ventures with a rifle borrowed from his friend Doug (Karl Kennedy) who seems to share our scepticism of Joseph’s abilities beyond the bed chamber.
Unravelling during the course of one day, Joseph’s misguided hunting trip will prove his ego and prowess as ‘king of the mountains” to be far greater than his actual skill as a hunter. When faced with an emergency exposing his inadequacies, he simply breaks down in tears and then eventually runs home as if nothing has happened. Part of the problem with Joseph is our lack of empathy with him largely due to his lack of integrity from the outset to the final scenes. MT
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2022