Directed by Quincy Rose Starring Quincy Rose, Jen McPherson, Zack Tiegan, Maggie Rowe & Toni Romano-Cohen Indie film review by Chris Olson Introspective and candid, like the best character study films, Quincy Rose's indie movie Miles to Go is a compelling journey through one man's complex issues with relationships.
Miles (played by Rose) is a sharp-tongued cynic who battles with existential crises like they are going out of fashion. His curmudgeonly attitude towards human relationships, especially those with the opposite sex that seem doomed to failure, has seeped into his outlook causing him to look for an internal fix. Through counselling with a professional therapist Lucy (Maggie Rowe) and conversations with his friend Sydney (Zack Tiegan) and his sister Alexandra (Toni Romano-Cohen), Miles attempts to put himself under the microscope and connect in a substantially meaningful way. Seeking a solution with his recent ex-girlfriend Julia (Jen McPherson), Miles attempts to approach the relationship in a different way, hoping for a different outcome that transcends his own foibles and self-destructive behaviour. There is always a risk of indulgence when it comes to filmmakers being the star in their own show. Too often the one-man-band syndrome kicks in and it ends up just being chaotic horn-tooting and ego stroking. What's apparent in Miles to Go, is that Rose is prepared to bare all; literally, emotionally and philosophically. For every moment that makes his character look like a stud (the sporting sex or the witty banter) there is a balancing moment where he reveals his inadequacy or vulnerability. This is so important in a character study movie, where the anchor to keep audiences watching needs to be pulled in all directions in order to keep us interested. Cinematically, the film is superb. There is some incredibly clever filmmaking here that delivers on a level with the greats. Woody Allen is an obvious parallel, and the film did remind me of Frances Ha, from Noah Baumbach, for its simple yet hugely appealing urban aesthetic. The film captures the intensely personal with an aloof sense of critical analysis, which is a considerably feat. Scenes such as the couples dinner where topics like anal sex are discussed, are done with masterful craftsmanship to depict the detached yet highly curious nature of the dialogue.
Given that the story of Miles to Go is partly biographical, and that Rose wears so many hats in its creation, there could have been a great deal of narcissism rife throughout. Luckily the supporting cast is fantastic and Rose does give them enough space to contribute decently, without removing the close inspection of Miles. Jen McPherson is wonderful, offering a fantastic counterweight to Miles's broken sense of self. The two intertwine like flame candles on screen, being at once both illuminatingly compelling and fatally vulnerable. It is their scenes that are the most enjoyable. Thematically the story is a real treat. There are huge amounts of discovery and poignancy when it comes to the way in which Miles is revealed on screen. Ideas of loneliness, compatibility, neuroses and fulfilment swim around like colours in an already vibrant story. Audiences will either love or hate Miles, but either way they will feel something! A thoughtful and intelligent film, Quincy Rose could be an important part of indie cinema to come.