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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Madison Baker Was Here (2021)

In the pursuit of wonder, it's amazing how many things cross my desk. This varies from the sublime to the ridiculous and most things in-between. Firstly, what must be said is that I am most definitely not the target demographic for this Matt Gray project, who both directs and writes (with Izzy Weaver, who also appears in the film) this altogether unique experience.

When you sit staring at the screen, wondering genuinely what on earth you're looking at, you know something is afoot. Gray's budget here is noted on Imdb as five thousand dollars. At time of writing, I am still questioning where this money went. It was most definitely not on the acting or the script.

As I have often been heard to mention, when trying to massage the efforts of those who really should be doing something else for a living, no-one makes a bad movie on purpose. I'm sure everyone involved does their best, from writer, director to actor and this is as true here as anywhere else. This is particularly important when trying to force your way into screens that are already burgeoning with other, perhaps more enticing, opportunities for being entertained. It's probably fair to say that this is not breaking down any doors or likely to garner any more than derision from those that barely look beyond the latest blockbuster.

To call it an indie would be right, yet still over-amplifying the quality. Defining it as an indie flick does not mean it is automatically laden with unseen or overlooked talent and Gray attempts to convince us that there is more to this than exactly what we see in front of us.

Sometimes, an indie is just that. Probably because no studio would go near it.

At 79 minutes, it is still way too long and the adventures of Madison Baker fail to either resonate or engage. Her last night before moving house doesn't ring true in the least and the characters are poorly fleshed out and you simply aren't convinced by what comes out of their mouths. Take shitty dialogue and give it to actors that can't pull it off due to a lack of ability or belief and you have a largely painful experience. This is a shame, if only because I'm sure that the film was made with the best intentions, but it simply cannot cut it.

This has a place, and I'm not entirely sure where it is. But I do know where it isn't.


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