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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Paper Spiders

Director: Inon Shampanier Studio: Cranium Entertainment, Idiot Savant Pictures.

Review: Paper Spiders

Movies can be fun outings for both families and friends out there who want to take a load off from work or class at a school, but this film, Paper Spiders, brings a mother-and-daughter adventure to its new heights and levels in many directions. Inon Shampanier steps in as the director with his wife, Natalie Shampanier, as the writer and Ash Christian as a producer for the film. The film mainly stars Lili Taylor (American Crime) and Stefania LaVie Owen (Running Wilde) as a mother-and-daughter leads.

Paper Spiders primarily centers on the widowed mother named Dawn who experiences growing anxiety as her daughter Melanie departs for college, but after an altercation with a hostile new neighbor, Dawn’s mental condition becomes a primary concern as she begins to show signs of paranoid delusions. With that, Melanie’s task is to find many ways to help her mom with her delusions. Due to her facing difficult challenges with Dawn’s reality of persecution that ultimately tears them and their relationship apart, Melanie is forced to make the toughest decisions as she struggles to keep her mother afloat.

Inon and Natalie Shampanier are tasked to make a film that brings messages about the moral lessons about life situations and family issues that had an huge impact on human life and normality towards critics and audiences, especially when it comes to characters or people making tough decisions that endured their well-being, freedom of right, and new chapters on their adventures. His ways of telling the story prove to be suitable for the unmessy materials he and the crew had to work. Not only the Shampaniers made the film uniquely fascinating to watch with the storyline being filled with drama, but also adds a nice touching humor on those two main characters, adding some character developments, placing some good quality editing and script-writing for them, and directly smell the soothing sounds of tender love and heartful cinematic scenes that are easy to watch.

Lili Taylor portrays Dawn, a struggling mother whose husband passed away and suffers a paranoia after a scuffle with her new next-door neighbor while Stefania LaVie Owen portrays Dawn's daughter Melanie, who is on the verge of departing for college at USC after graduating high school, who attempts to help and cure her mother from her delusions.

Also appearing is Ian Nelson as the rich boy who dates Melanie in the film as well as Max Casella, David Rasche, and Micahel Cyril Creighton as the detective, Dawn’s attorney, and the school counselor respectively.

Although the second half of the film seems to darken the amusement as the joy and happiness is cut short. There are some heartbreaking moments based on the camera angles and the swirls the cinematographers have put up to produce more drama-effect flavors that my eyes and minds have tweaked up nervously. The film and its editing feels like, despite the strong, powerful story being told, it is going to be a Forrest Gump-flavored (or maybe a A Dog’s Purpose-nature) movie outing for both kids and adults.

On the side note, Paper Spiders is an okay film. It really gave me lots of shivers of emotion coming from these characters. Taylor and Owen really did a great job as a mother-and-daughter team. It does have a soft spot on films about family relationships when telling a bedtime story for kids. Paper Spiders may not be the best or worst, but I can’t say more, there’s nothing to be simplistic about this film that brings hope and glory to those who understand the types of dilemma the studios offer.

(Review by Henry Pham)

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