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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » What Alice Found
What Alice Found
Wellspring // R // September 21, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Matt Langdon | posted October 16, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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Movie:
What Alice Found is a low budget indie film about a young woman who faces moral conflicts and personal dilemmas after she makes a couple bad choices on a road trip to the South.

Alice (Emily Grace) a college-age woman is seen in the first scene driving her car. She is heading for Miami where she plans to meet her friend and hopefully start a new life. But along the way she has car trouble, which eventually strands her on the highway.

Confused about what to do she is approached by a middle-aged couple in an RV who persuade her to leave her broken down car and go with them. Being young and naive she agrees and hops in the RV with them.

The couple are (Judith Ivey) and (Bill Raymond) two 'good Samaritans' who literally take Alice for a ride.

Too broke to go off on her own and too innocent (or dumb) to challenge the couple Alice soon goes down the rabbit hole and gets caught in their deceptive web of illegal activity. Part of what keeps Alice from leaving is that Sandra is such a down-to-earth woman - with a gracious southern accent - that she has a tough time breaking away; plus they will soon be in Florida. Or will they?

The suspense builds as Alice tries to find herself and what to do with her seemingly withering options. As the film goes along there are flashbacks which reveal things about Alice's past which have lead to her hitting the road.

The film is shot low budget on Digital Video and has the look of a being shot on the fly. But it doesn't really hurt the film. In fact, it adds an authenticity to the immediacy and nature of the film as it moves along the road from truck stop to truck stop. The performances are excellent all around especially Judith Ivey who bites into her roll and chews it with relish.

Video:
The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The film is shot on Digital Video so the look is a bit blurry and soft. Their is a lot of natural light, hand held camera and close-ups. The transfer is good although it's hard to tell because the film itself is not glossy or clean looking in any way. Still this is the intention and it fits the subject matter very well so it's not a problem.

Audio:
Audio is in stereo and features a good soundtrack of various women artists. The script is dialogue driven and for the most part sounds good. On some occasions the dialogue is a bit muffled.

Extras:
The only real extra is an Audio Commentary track with director A Dean Bell and producer/cinematographer Richard Connors, which is very good. From start to finish Bell and Connors discuss the tales of low budget filmmaking, anecdotes of the shoot and stories of the cast. They also give insights into the script process and such. This is the kind of commentary track we rarely get from directors and never get from scholars. There is also a trailer, which is okay.

Overall:
What Alice Found is a good film about a young woman who faces personal conflicts and moral dilemmas on a road trip from New Hampshire to Miami. A well written script and engaging performances make this a winning independent film that rather than being some kind of Hollywood knock off is truly an independent film. Recommended.
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