Owen’s review published on Letterboxd:
The narrative started off odd and felt a bit flimsy to me at first but it eventually found its footing and went in to masterfully converge it’s story in a heartfelt, emotionally resonant way.
Something I love about the characterization in this film is the way Gallo shoots the dinner table scenes from different perspectives. At times you feel like you aren’t even in the same room because of the camera placement. The way Lance Acord frames these scenes is really interesting because when Billy is viewing Layla and his parents, the frame is crisp, dark, and very depressing. When it’s the opposite perspective, Layla viewing Billy and his parents, the frame is much less clear. It’s grainier than the film already is, but also evokes a sense of dreamlike curiosity. Layla is new to this house, to this family, so her viewpoint is hazier.
The final 15 minutes is some of the most transcendent storytelling I’ve ever seen, heartbreaking and healing in equal measure. That ending is lovely. Could easily see this becoming a 5 over time. I can definitely see why this is considered a classic, and I’m glad that I watched it on a cold wintry night because it sort of helped me get invested in the setting of the film more; an alluring sense of warmth amongst the cold. Masterpiece!