Featuring: Jon Bernthal, Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt
Runtime: 93 minutes
Duff Smith, editor
Having made a bracing debut with RIVER (KCFF ’16), Toronto’s Jamie M. Dagg proves to be very much the real deal with his sophomore effort, a lean and mean thriller about a small town in Alaska that’s rocked by a wave of violence. THE WALKING DEAD’s Jon Bernthal stars as Sam, a former rodeo champ now working at a grubby motel. Being a trusting sort, he’s slow to connect Elwood (Christopher Abbott of GIRLS), a taciturn newcomer from Sam’s home state of Virginia, to the recent murders that have already put the town on edge. Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Abrahamson — also seen at this year’s KCFF in NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL — fill out the exceptionally strong cast for Dagg’s slow-burn combination of crime story and character study.
“The cast and creators of “Sweet Virginia” dig underneath flat pulp conventions and find the real pain and emotional instability at their roots.” -Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times
Jamie M. Dagg’s first feature film River premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2015 to excellent reviews, and was awarded the Claude Jutra Award (Canadian Screen Award) which recognizes outstanding work by first-time filmmakers. River is a gritty thriller that features Rossif Sutherland as a fugitive doctor in Laos.