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Tribeca Film Festival 2022: Acidman Review

acid man is a complicated love story between an eccentric father and his adult daughter desperate to rebuild their relationship. Pulling at its viewer’s heartstrings and leaving them in awe as the pieces began to fit together, the film is a mature take on the “dysfunctional family” genre.

Director Alex Lehmann is not new to the film scene. Previous to the helm of acclaimed dramas paddleton and Blue jayboth in collaboration with his longtime partner Mark Duplass, he demonstrates his skills and talent through film by interweaving a slow but steady, dialogue-heavy script (written by Lehmann and Chris Dowling) with the most magnificent landscapes, captivating camerawork, and an electric chemistry between the two threads, making it impossible to look away from the screen.


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The drama is carried by Dianna Agron and Thomas Haden Church, both of whom have already built impressive movie empires. After being separated for a decade, Maggie of Agron decides to go out on a whim and visit her father. Clearly a city girl, she goes to the middle of nowhere, without any prior arrangements or communication with the older man. Throughout the film, their disconnection is very present and uncomfortable. His father, Lloyd, lives a reclusive life with no friends except for a friendly waitress at the local restaurant and his trustworthy dog. He struggles to deal with harassment from local youths who have tagged “ACIDMAN” on his trailer.

More issues are revealed as he spaces out during conversations and rejects all of his daughter to get to know him again. Though short and distant, their conversations are sweet and devoid of any ill will, until Lloyd accuses Maggie of not telling the truth about her visit. She continues to pretend her presence is just to make sure he’s healthy, but it’s clear something bigger is bothering her.

The 87-minute drama, which screened as part of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in the Narrative Spotlight category, comes to life through Lloyd’s Worst Quality. The gentleman is an engineer-turned-alien conspiracy theorist, barely donning a tinfoil hat. The most shocking scene comes when Maggie catches him going on a late night adventure and doesn’t even bat an eyelid as she follows and they find themselves staring into the sky at flashing lights. It’s a “UFO,” she comments, and he quickly says, “technically it’s an IFO now.” As their troubled past is slowly uncovered, it becomes clear that this very behavior is what drove a wedge between him and his wife and son, ultimately causing him to leave the family and brand them traitors.

However, Maggie didn’t want this as a child and she refuses to accept it as an adult. This is where the heart of the film beats The Strongest. The young woman is well aware of her options: either she manages to have a relationship with her father and the unconventional man that he is, or she loses him – a crucial life lesson that many learn only too late.

Unfortunately, in this imperfect world, love is attracted to someone despite their flaws and other disorders. Lloyd is a man who explains everything. He told his children he was leaving and he told his grown daughter he was okay with her lifestyle and hobbies. Despite their love for each other, she can’t do anything to change it. Eventually, she learns that her closure is about accepting the circumstances and figuring out her next steps. What makes this pill easier to swallow, despite the whole movie being a tearjerker, is that Lloyd never pretends not to reciprocate Maggie’s love, and he shamelessly shows it, in the only way that he can.

acid man is one of the most impressive films of the year. It effortlessly captures the attention of its viewers and takes them on a journey of emotions. They’ll laugh, cry and feel an immeasurable amount of anger, but his ending will provide the perfect release – it’s up to the skill of everyone involved in the production process, from the sharp direction and script to the comfortable costumes, the magnificent scenery, the adorable dog and all the magic in between.

acid man had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 10 and will screen June 12 and 19. He is looking for an acquisition.

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