Pin It Share on Tumblr


AFI Fest: Light of Mine Movie Review

Posted by bsimon On November - 10 - 2011 0 Comment

Title: Light of Mine

Director: Brett Eichenberger

Starring: Ji Tanzer, Rebecca Sanborn

An in-competition entry in the recent and ongoing AFI Fest’s “Breakthrough” section, which spotlights movies located solely through the festival’s cold submission process, director Brett Eichenberger’s “Light of Mine” is a reflective, strikingly photographed little relationship drama about a man grappling with impending blindness, and the notion of how to forge a path for a future he won’t be able to see.

After being diagnosed with hereditary optic neuropathy, photographer Owen (Ji Tanzer) is despondent. Already suffering from vision loss in one eye, he’s told to expect fairly rapid deterioration in his remaining eye. His wife, Laura (Rebecca Sanborn), aims to be as supportive as possible, but doesn’t know how to coax Owen out of his low-grade depression. She suggests a trip to Yellowstone National Park, but at first he rebuffs her. Eventually, though, he accedes, and the pair — already existing by a financial string — sling together a hastily planned trip, stopping off to visit friends along the way.

It’s true that this story is thin — a bouillabaisse of road movie, disease-of-the-week and romantic reconciliation cliches. But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be meted out with a bit more skill and tradecraft. Screenwriter Jill Remensnyder, however, never quite seizes upon some deeper nuggets or truths about the personalities of her characters, and so “Light of Mine”‘s leads feel a bit like ciphers. Also, its dramatic conflict over Laura’s desire to have a child feels strangely underexploited, given the natural parallels of life closure and rebirth that it offers. There’s mesmeric, underplayed intimation and then there’s the absence of dramatic engagement, and “Light of Mine” not infrequently feels like the latter.

By and large, though, “Light of Mine” still works as a mood piece. The film’s technical package is superb for such a low-budget effort. Location filming in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana provides for plenty of beautiful backdrops, and while it’s true that Eichenberger and cinematographers Patrick Neary and Michael Ferry favor sunset and magic hour compositions that generally tug at the heart in a manner more expressionistic than effectively, chronologically ordered, there’s no denying the movie’s impact on this front. Modern life has sealed off so many of us from nature. “Light of Mine,” in its richly captured vistas and interaction with nature, reminds a viewer of that elemental connection to our physical environment, and what it might mean to lose at least one important sensory perception of that.

NOTE: For more information, visit

Technical: A-

Acting: C+

Story: C

Overall: C+

Written by: Brent Simon

Light of Mine

Processing your request, Please wait....

Do you like this story?

Create an email alert for Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Shockya on Facebook


Latest Movie Reviews

Denial – Movie Review

Denial Bleeker Street Media Reviewed by: Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya Grade: B+ Director: Mick Jackson Written by: David ...


A Man Called Ove Movie Review

A MAN CALLED OVE (En man som heter Ove) Music Box Films Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: ...


Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Rev

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY Universal Pictures Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: C- Director:  Sharon Maguire Written by: Emma Thompson, Helen ...

Dylan Tauber Dolphin Trance Album Review

Dylan Tauber Dolphin Trance Al

Artist: Dylan Tauber, keyboards and synths Album: 'Dolphin Trance' Production: Son of Waves Studios Embarking on a spiritual ...

Chameleon Technology Blank Canvas Album Review

Chameleon Technology Blank Can

Band/Artist: Chameleon Technology Album: Blank Canvas Members/Instruments: Max Histrionic - Vocals, Guitars and Drums Production: Richard Bredice; 'Blank ...