Palacios film review

★★★★★

Directed by: #RobertTHerrera

Written by: #RobertTHerrera

Starring: #LibbyBibb, #OlajuwonDavis, #IngebartheDog

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby



#Palacios may well be the easiest 5-star review I've ever given. Robert T. Herrera's achingly #beautiful and #poignant film is the best #cinematic introduction to the new year I could have asked for. And I'll be surprised if it's not still one of my favourites come the year's end.


A widowed woman and the inner-city teen she finds sleeping on her roof, form an unlikely bond after agreeing to spend one-4th of July night together. A bond developed through a series of conversations about the past, the present and the future; prompting the pair to reevaluate their life choices and current situation.


Libby Bibb is Holly, a lonely woman living in the shadow of her husband’s death, with only her Boston Terrier, Hulk (Ingebar) for company. And Olajuwon Davis plays Eugene, a disadvantaged black teen with no family. Performances throughout the movie are virtually perfect and utterly #mesmerising. What isn't said with words, is as easily said with a look or gesture: an area where both actors absolutely excel. Which is just as well, as dialogue is scarce and to the point.


In fact, for a film held together by the strength of its central characters – which in turn are developed through conversation – there is a surprising lack of dialogue. Be that as it may, what little dialogue there is, is sublimely written and delivered impeccably with an aptitude for verisimilitude.


#Palacios is a technical #masterpiece of #filmmaking: and at its centre is #DavidRocco's #exquisite #cinematography and #JohnKelley's wonderfully #emotive score, both of which blend harmoniously together.


Rocco's #camerawork employs the use of off-centre camera angles, extreme close-ups, hand-held shakiness and peeping tom-like vantage points (looking through windows, bars in fencing, etc) to give the film a fly-on-the-wall #intimacy. Honestly, within 10 minutes of Kelley's #gorgeous mood-setting accompaniment rippling over the stunning #monochromatic film as it drifts in and out of focus, I was completely blown away by the sheer #beauty of it all coming together.


But there's #beauty to be found everywhere in this film; in every small gesture, in seemingly inconsiderable actions. Whether it's Holly making breakfast for a stranger, a tough question being asked and answered, or Eugene playing with Hulk on the roof. Even the ending — which left me an #emotional wreck, by the way.


Every little thing carries a weight of importance, not necessarily to the story, but to the characters themselves. It's what binds them, and it's what bonds them and it's these little actions that reveal the character's search for a place to belong and a reason to be. For Eugene, that's having a stable parental figure; something he finds in Holly. And for Holly herself, it's simply having someone that gives her life a purpose again.


As you've probably gathered, I'm really quite fond of this one. In fact, I've really rather fallen in love with it. If I watched #Palacios last year, it would be amongst my top 10 films of the year, easily. As it turns out, it will more than likely be there at the end of this year instead. A #cinematic #masterpiece and a #showcase for #independent #filmmaking, #Palacios is everything I want in film and a reminder of why I fell in love with it in the first place.