It’s always promising when a film begins and you can’t immediately tell if it’s meant to be documentary or fiction. The ambiguity suggests a filmmaker ready to push their narrative in unusual directions and create moods outside what you can find in most cinemas. Giants Being Lonely is the debut feature from artist Grear Patterson, and a piece that’s provocative and complex in its impressionistic storytelling.
Patterson’s screenplay, written with Sam Stillman, follows a trio of high school kids in small-town America as they fall in love, struggle to handle their parents and try to win a few games of baseball. From such a traditional narrative, Patterson crafts an elegant and mysterious film that never goes quite where you expect. The blocking choices from Patterson and the superb editing from Ismael de Diego and Olmo Schnabel ask the viewer to read the film closely, filling in the blanks with unspoken feelings.
Crucially, this is not a film where mood trumps logic. Nearly everything about the characters’ motivations and choices makes sense, creating a coming-of-age story filled with budding romance and sporting rivalry. Adam (Ben Irving) is a struggling pitcher on the baseball team, cowed by his macho father’s coaching in a strand which highlights the way sport and toxic masculinity are often closely linked. Bobby (Jack Irving – Ben’s often indistinguishable brother in real life but not the film) is the star player, local heartthrob, and also a quiet soul who seems more comfortable out of the limelight. And Caroline (Lily Gavin) sadly exists mostly as a love interest but is still given real presence thanks to Gavin’s captivating performance.
Patterson almost ruins all his subtlety with a howler of a final shot, but he has proved he’s one to watch with this ambitious and compelling debut.
CAST: Jack Irving, Ben Irving, Lily Gavin, Amalia Culp, Gabe Fazio
DIRECTOR: Grear Patterson
WRITER: Grear Patterson
SYNOPSIS: In semi-rural Hillsborough, North Carolina, high school seniors Adam, Bobby, and Caroline navigate their final year through the ups and downs of sex, loneliness, murder, and baseball. A tale told by the one who survived.
[TRAILER COMING SOON]