The Sublime and Beautiful (2014) – movie review


By Forris Day JR

“The Sublime and Beautiful” is a dark film written and directed by TV and film veteran Blake Robbins. Robbins also plays the lead character David Conrad. Conrad is a family man with a wife and three kids. By day he is a college professor with a sexy young love interest on the side. Oddly, as a viewer, I still like his character even though his moral compass is a bit skewed. We really see how comfortable he is with cheating in the beginning of the movie when his wife (Laura Kirk) calls his cell phone to see if he is showing up at his parent’s house to decorate the Christmas tree. He of course has other plans so bows out of the family gathering.

On the way home from the tree trimming party his family car is hit by a drunk driver, Lee Westin (Armin Shimerman), and as a result his three kids are killed. The kids are played by his real kids and I found them fun to watch. They brought a light to a very dark movie. Once his wife awakens after the crash they both grieve the loss of the children, but they do it separately. David continues cheating and spending lots of time by himself mourning. His wife is mourning the loss of the children and the breakdown of their marriage.

I felt the movie moved very slowly yet I still enjoyed it and was always waiting for the next thing to happen. Not much really happened though. We just travelled along with David through his grief. I would have loved to see more about his wife’s journey through the grief too, but she was kind of in the background of the film. Laura Kirk who plays the wife showed how powerful an actress she is in one scene where someone hugs her and she goes bonkers in a crowded room. The scene built quickly and unexpectedly as she screams at people “I don’t need your hugs!!!” and storms out of the room still screaming at people as David tentatively follows her out, not sure how close he dare go to her. I felt as uncomfortable as if I was actually in the room, and that is a good thing.

I also wanted to know more about the drunk driver, Lee Weston. He was vilified in the movie and maybe rightly so, but I really wanted to know more about his journey and how he was feeling. We get a taste of his character but I found myself yearning to know him better.

I enjoyed watching the film but wished it had moved along a bit quicker. It didn’t have much dialog yet Robbins still told the emotional story of this family very well. He also added some touches of intentional vagueness throughout. I don’t want to give away too much but when you watch it you will see the several scenes where things got a little open to interpretation. This is not a feel good film and is not intended to be, so don’t have all your friends over for pizza and movie night with this one, but if you like a well told melodramatic movie “The Sublime and Beautiful” is a good choice.

Rating: 8/10 – A somber look at the effects of drinking and driving”

“The Sublime and Beautiful” ImdB page

An interview with writer/director Blake Robbins

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