Stars: Robert Loggia, Barbara Barrie, Jack Carpenter, Victoria Clark, Arye Gross, Peter Friedman and Adrianna Sevan
Director/Scriptwriter: Marc Meyers
Rating: R for language and themed material
Running Length: 110 minutes
Harvest is a quietly effective independent film. It creeps up on you. At first, you think you are in film with a college boy home for a visit and hanging onto his cel phone. Gradually, the story enfolds you as the boy, Josh (Jack Carpenter) has to make decisions about his summer and actually, about his life. His steady girlfriend doesn't understand and perhaps that just wasn't meant to be.
Josh is home for a visit before spending time with his girlfriend. Anna (Josh’s Mom and played by Victoria Clark) lives with Grandma (Barbara Barrie playing a woman with dementia) and Grandpa (Robert Loggia who has cancer.) Mom would like some help and talks Josh into staying. Josh clearly loves his grandfather and as the film progresses, you see Josh absorbing a lifetime of caretaking for another, from Grandpa, who cherishes Barrie. On the outskirts are Mom’s two brothers, Carmine (Peter Friedman) and Benny (Arye Gross) who have bickered with each other most of their lives, plus considered themselves, as men, to be superior to Anna. Into the mix is Rosita (Adrianna Sevan) who is the housekeeper, but having an affair with one of the brothers. Everyone knows but doesn't mind. As time winds down for Grandpa, he takes time for himself on a “good day,” grabs a bicycle and visits old friends, flirts with a waitress and enjoys the scenery. Josh, on the other hand, becomes an observer to the family and sees that his mother is about to be left out of the estate. What to do?
Harvest is a warm, fuzzy, well-acted movie without pushing anything in your face. The story gradually builds up, backed by beautiful photography and the ambience of a small town. The last third of the film concerns the final days of a loved one and done in a caring way. What do you say? What do you do? The aftermath may not be what you think it will be. Along the way, Josh’s character is changing from only-me-college-boy to a man of decision. It is a pleasant journey for Josh and the audience.
Copyright 2011 Marie Asner
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