A woman and her son attempt to start a new life in this riveting indie drama from filmmaker Vladimir de Fontenay.
Ali is a young mother to 8-year old Bone. She has been drifting with her controlling boyfriend Evan and Bone from one place to another. When they begin to find homes where the owner are not there, they crash the place and sleep there as a means to save money. Evan has a plan for all of them to be together to live in peace, but when Ali and Evan attempt to break into a mobile home, Evan is caught by the property manager Robert and Evan flees, leaving Ali and Bone.
To make amends for what they have done, Ali offers to work for Robert, who In return offers them a place to stay. As Ali and Bone continue to stay with Robert, they slowly begin to realize that they have a chance to do things right and the once fractured bond between mother and son begins to become stronger on a level neither have imagined. However, what will happen when Evan comes back into the picture and comes up a scheme that will threaten everything Ali and Bone have just worked for?
At first sight of the film, one may ask him or herself what is the deal with the character of Ali, who is seen in the film’s opening scene trying to get his son Bone foster care? And what is the deal with Evan, Ali’s controlling and at times manipulative boyfriend? They definitely will not get Parents of the Year award. However, what stands out is that this tends to be a situation that can be potentially real and director Vladimir de Fontenay really captures the moments and even shows that despite progression, there can be hints of regression but it is how one can overcome the latter for the former.
Imogen Poots gives out a realistic performance as the embittered Ali, a struggling young mother whose addictions causes a sense of friction between her and her son Bone, played wonderfully by newcomer Frank Oulton. Ali is the type to be perhaps easily manipulated as is the case when it comes to her unstable relationship with Evan, played by Callum Turner. The role, originally meant for Anton Yelchin before his tragic death at the age of 27, has Turner play a very controlling, aggressive, manipulative narcissist who thinks he knows what’s best for Ali and Bone and in reality, is nothing more than a scumbag at heart.
Callum Keith Rennie’s Robert is quite an interesting figure in that he’s the property manager who has the heart but still has his imaginary caution tape ready to go when it comes to Ali. However, he does prove to be the catalyst in a breakthrough for Ali, as she goes from a desperate drifter to someone who is willing to do what it takes to make things right. Robert can be seen as a father figure who despite his own flaws, attempts to help Ali not only on her path of redemption, but help strengthen the bond between Ali and Bone. It gives a sense of Ali to finally come up on her own and a chance to possibly do right when Evan gets himself back into the picture.
Mobile Homes offers a take on drifters and both the ups and downs of their lives and how one incident can make change for them, brought on by very worthy performances by Imogen Poots and newcomer Frank Oulton.
WFG RATING: B
Uncork’d Entertainment, Dark Star Pictures, and Mongrel presents a Madeleine Films/Lithium Studios/Incognito Films production in association with Media International. Director: Vladimir de Fontenay. Producers: Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Eric Supont, and Mike MacMillan. Writers: Vladimir de Fontenay and Danielle Lessovitz. Cinematography: Benoit Soler. Editing: Nicolas Chaudeurge, Maxime Pozzi, and Andonis Trattos.
Cast: Imogen Poots, Callum Turner, Callum Keith Rennie, Frank Oulton, James Boles, Shane Daly, Lyric Justice, Karen LeBlanc, Thamela Mpumlwana, Diane Gordon, Andy Boorman.