Arcadia is exactly the kind of small budget author film Film Movement is known and appreciated for. Unfortunately, this DVD will disappoint fans of the collection / label. This movie has an interesting coming of age road trip story to tell. It is very well made. It has very good actors to tell it. The problem is the dialogue is mumbled and too often inaudible even at a high volume.
This viewer got tired of rewinding and rerewinding scenes just to figure out what a character said only to discover that the dialogue does not always make sense. An example is when the father comes into the motel room with breakfast for the kids, asks his eldest daughter what the score is, and is told the As are up 4 to 3 (I swear that is what I heard).
John Hawkes plays a father who is taking his kids from their Brooklyn home to their new place in a paradisical California. You know something is going on but are not quite sure why. This is what creates the tension in the movie. Information is revealed piecemeal and through middle daughter and tween Greta (Ryan Simpkins). This trip will force her to grow up.
Hawkes is excellent as the father under a lot of strain as is Simpkins. The older sister character sometimes feels a bit pointless and seems to have been created so that Greta would not be the oldest.
There is a lot to like about Arcadia. Unfortunately, you spend so much time listening to it to decode the dialogue that you are not longer watching the movie.
The short feature included on this DVD is Little Canyon, the 20-minute short that is the basis of Arcadia.
Film Movement titles we like:
Columbia - The Colors of the Mountain
Australia - Noise
Israel - For My Father