English

Feb 12, 2024

Review

'SUNCOAST' | REVIEW

While the sun might shine bright outside, you can still face difficult decisions in life.

This is the case for ‘Doris’ (Nico Parker) in Searchlight Pictures latest drama, ‘SUNCOAST’. Premiering on Disney Plus on 9/02/24, ‘SUNCOAST’ is an incredibly moving addition to the streaming service vast library of titles.

While the film largely deals with heavy themes of loss, grief and uncertainty. The movie also does a strong job in balancing happy and sad emotions & scenes. To be honest, this film is an incredibly moving piece, and while not perfect to its full content. It is indeed a picture filled with strong performances and an emotional story worth remembering. In terms of remembering, this review of ‘SUNCOAST’ will also be dedicated to ‘Bror Gustafsson’, who passed away on 09/02/24. We’ll see you around, cousin.

©Searchlight

Nonetheless, for ‘SUNCOAST’, a movie this heartwarming to not receive more attention feels sad. It greatly deserves to be recognised by more people. While we still are in the early days of the film's release, and it might turn out to be watched by plenty of people. I have a feeling this movie is somewhat overshadowed by this year's super bowl and the release of many of the highly anticipated half-time trailers.

‘SUNCOAST’ deserves to be seen, mainly because of the great performances included in the film. ‘Doris’ (played by Nico Parker) and ‘her mother Kristine’ (played by Laura Linney) give the film's most notable performances. Their character’s convey emotion to a great extent and their relationship on screen feels authentic. The film’s overarching story about ‘caring for impaired family members’ and the emotional toll it can have on one is so true for a lot of people on this earth. The real-ness of ‘SUNCOAST’ is also what makes it into such a heartfelt film.

©Searchlight

We also can not forget to mention ‘Paul’ (played by Woody Herrelson), his on-screen dynamics with Nico Parker are some of the film's happy highlights. If this relationship would not have been included, it would have been perhaps a too heartbreaking film to watch on a Friday or Saturday evening. Moreover, we also need to compliment the actors/actresses who played Doris’ friends. They added a fun layer of ‘teenage drama’ which contributed to the film's happier side of the two-hour runtime.

The writer and director of ‘SUNCOAST’ is ‘Laura Chinn’ who you might recognise from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. We are not sure if this is her feature debut, but an unparalleled film is what she delivers. While the writing is not a hundred percent perfect and there are a couple of scenes which felt somewhat strange. I think the directing is done incredibly well and as an overall package this film just… works.   

©Searchlight

In terms of the visuals for ‘SUNCOAST’, they are acceptable. It’s nothing jaw dropping that is presented. There are no mind boggling shots. However, I think the visual department does a great job when it comes to connecting the environment design with the tone of particular scenes. Doris and her mothers house has a particular feeling or emotion attached to it, and so does ‘Suncoast’ (the place). I would say that the visuals of this film are not bad by any means, but the story and overall performances weigh more heavily on the final rating for ‘SUNCOAST’

©Searchlight

There were also some pieces of the story I would have liked to see explored further. For example, Doris’ father, we did not see any flashbacks of him or their relationship before he passed. That is all the details we got on him. Or perhaps the relationship between Doris and her brother, we got some flashbacks but only from a third-person kind of view. However, since the film already runs at one hour and fifthy-isch minutes. I think it would have been a wrong-doing to include additional scenes. The finished product works on so many level’s, and that is what counts in the end.

The ending of ‘SUNCOAST’ did not play out as I expected it to, and perhaps it was for the best. The ending that played out led to an even more emotional send off for our characters. In a film where relationships are of utter importance and relevance, I think the ending was a harsh one, in terms of emotion.

©Searchlight

I think ‘SUNCOAST’ is an incredible drama & coming of age film. It deals with harsh but relevant themes, and explores the characters inner feelings and struggles that when put under the spotlight, is something that we all may have a relation to. ‘SUNCOAST’ features outstanding performances and while not perfect in terms of writing it surely won’t be the first film I will forget this year. We deep down always want to do the right thing, love will always prevail.

Rating: 4,5/5

By

Eddie G

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