Written & Directed by: #AlexRamirez
An ALS-diagnosed artist and her husband contend with growing marital problems and diminishing time together over a weekend clinical visit.
Writer and director Alex Ramirez’s The Quiet Shore takes a look at a now dysfunctional couple, who are cursed by an unsolvable problem wedged forcefully into their relationship, setting them down a trail no one could ever wish to walk. From beginning to end, there’s a great sense of care within and behind the camera. Firstly, the acting from Jeaux Bartley and Joseph Rene is superb. They have a great relationship on-screen and although a couple moments feel underwhelming, their work overall is commendable.
Moving past the acting, the script feels very real. The structure is solid, with most of the film focusing on the two in dialogue heavy scenes. We do see them both individually for short beats, but it’s when they’re together that the film shines. I found the story to be touching and delicately handled, yet part of me wishes there was something more to it. By the end, I felt hungry for a little more - as if the story wasn’t quite over. Nevertheless, one could find enjoyment and have their interest piqued by what is presented.
The visuals by cinematographer Mason O’Neill Hunsicker are cold and blue - many dazzling cityscapes and lush sea waves scattered within the narrative. These are combined with a sombre score by Stephen Flores that utilises soft, reverberated piano notes with a mumbling drone underneath. The editing by Jordan Moreno is smart and functional. Smooth cuts between every scene - his work brings together all the technical achievements mentioned before and makes them click. Both the visual and musical styles are wonderfully realised in The Quiet Shore.
Of course, with a story involving something as awful as ALS, you’d expect a certain degree of caution. Thankfully, this is a very careful and mindful film. It doesn’t exploit anything or feel forced. Filmmakers these days are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and for Ramirez it’s no different. The final few minutes are tragic, but important. Films like The Quiet Shore are a good example of why cinema is so vital to our culture. With more and more being explored every year, I don’t think there’ll ever be a time where it disappears. It can be entertaining, an escape, but with films like this, it can be a tool for education and deep exploration.
Watch the trailer for The Quiet Shore below.