Writer-director Bradley Rust Gray‘s melancholy “Blood” is the slowest of the slow burn. It’s a pensive and sad tale of widowed photographer Chloe (Carla Juri), who travels to Japan for work. She is happy to see her old friend Toshi (Takashi Ueno) and his young daughter, Futaba (Futaba Okazaki), and she begins spending more and more time with them. Quietly reserved and restrained, Chloe goes about her day taking pictures of locals.
The film is very observational, with long scenes of the characters just watching other people at work, be it at a dance class or making noodles or telling stories of broken pottery. It meanders through uninteresting scenarios over and over and over again.
The character development is far too vague, and Gray gives very few clues about then when and why of Chloe’s situation. She’s trying to learn to live her life without her husband by her side, and there are some insightful perspectives of what it’s like to be forced to start over, alone. The little reminders are sometimes too much for Chloe to bear, bringing the grief rushing back. It’s a pensive look at the woman’s new reality.
“Blood” is beautifully shot and the two leads have a good chemistry, but the film is too slow and is paralyzed by its subtlety. This movie put me to sleep, literally.
By: Louisa Moore