Oscilloscope Laboratories announced this past week that director Sophia Takal’s Always Shine will be available as both DVD and Blu-ray product selections on Mar. 7.
Actor/writer Lawrence Michael Levine and actress-turned-filmmaker Sophia Takal started down the path of getting this arthouse gem made about five years ago, and, with a little help from kickstarter, it was finished in time to make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in April of this past year.
Always Shine then went on a film festival tour — to both awards and solid critical buzz — before being snapped up for theatrical and home entertainment distribution by Oscilloscope. A brief arthouse theatrical run in November generated ticket sales of $15,762 (and more critical accolades).
This first week in March home entertainment launch yields an ARR of 102 days.
A century-ago famed writer Rudyard Kipling said it best in a poem … “For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”
Such is the case here in this “cat-and-cat” — as opposed to “cat-and-mouse” — psychological thriller as “friends” Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald — as Libby in the Masters of Sex TV series, plus such films as Mercy, Manhattan Romance, etc.) and Anna (Mackenzie Davis — as Cameron in the Halt and Catch Fire TV series, plus such films as Freaks of Nature, The Martian, etc.), who are both actresses, decide to spend a little downtime at a cabin in picturesque Big Sur.
If you are a film fan, you might recall Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier) and Milo Tindle (Michael Caine) spending a little time together back 1972 in director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film adaptation of the Anthony Shaffer play, Sleuth.
If you enjoyed that film, then you are absolutely going to love Always Shine as they are related — like distant cousins are related.
These beautiful blondes never really settle into their little getaway cottage as their mind games begin on the drive up, get elevated during an encounter at a local water hole and then get down right nasty as the weekend progresses. Anna is the more talented of the two, but Beth has had a nice run of late making commercials and horror films (nudity involved) and that success has gotten under Anna’s skin. But Beth is no angel as she plays her own mind games with Anna as well.
Without giving away too much — because this is a film that you really need to get involved in and savor the little twists and digs — let’s just say the suspense is terrific and you are never sure as to whom you should be rooting for. One thing seems certain, in retrospect, is that both Anna and Beth wanted this trip to Big Sur as sort of a ritual trip to engage in the equivalent of a mixed martial arts “Cage Fight.” Oh it is so good!
The bonus feature is a video session with filmmaker Sophia Takal.