By Daniel R. Durrett
A Morbius Strip (a one-sided infinite repetition) is a statement that should be followed to understand where the story will take its audience. A Morbius Strip is what happened to the cut of the Jared Leto Marvel film.
But I digress… the opening night film of the Oak Cliff Film Festival “Linoleum” is reminiscent of “Donnie Darko” in the storied process of exposing its audience to the opening provides the shock to carry the audience through the method of its unique story.
A story of the wonder of life and the process of aging told in an astonishing maneuver, director and writer Collin West shares his process of dealing with his own grandfather’s death, with a most unique telling of the process of aging that has ever been brought to the screen.
Jim Gaffigan (American Dreamer, Super Troopers) portrays Cameron Edwin, a cable TV host of a science educational show in the vein of Bill Nye the Science Guy. But Gaffigan’s character finds himself in a mid-life crisis questioning his place in the world. He is still seeking his grand moment, and when a satellite crashes down in his backyard Gaffigan’s character sees an opportunity to capture his life’s great moment.
Wife and family commander, Erin Edwin, portrayed by, Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul, Veep), blossomed with Cameron back in the day when they produced and starred in the Cable TV Show: Above and Beyond.
However, since the show’s introduction to the audience Seehorn’s character has excelled and could move on from Cameron.
Who still stars and produces Above and Beyond…
AS A SIDE THOUGHT…. Kudos to Parker and the festival team to pair this film at a festival with an opening night film “Butterflies In The Sky” the Reading Rainbow documentary.
Gaffigan also portrays his likeness to the story’s character, Kent Armstrong, who begins to overcome the life of Cameron as a symbiotic process of discovery reaching beyond the life that Cameron can muster by taking over the hosting of Cameron’s show.
Nora, Daughter of the Edwin family, Katelyn Nacon (The Walking Dead, Southern Gospel) as well as her story’s soon-to-be boyfriend, Marc, Gabriel Rush (Moonrise Kingdom, Scary Stories) whose love story provided the much-needed levity within Linoleum’s story.
Young love is built on the vastness of possibility, and you will believe that watching this love blossom.
Dealing with death, however, is a part of the human process and the telling of the story of “Linoleum” is a story that is part of an understanding of this process. I wish that the story existed before my own father’s death.
The comedic nature of the film lends masterfully to the darker discussion that lives in the sub-plot.
Whose story was wonderfully bracketed by the performances of Tony Shalhoub (Monk, Galaxy Quest) and Michael Ian Black (Kids In The Hall, Wet Hot American Summer)
Shaloub portrays Dr. Alvin, who was the makeshift ambassador for mental health, straight thinking, and preacher of truth for Gaffigan’s Cameron.
The process of aging is just another horizon within the story of Linoleum. Don’t fear the future, dive into the waters of this dream world… could be fine!?
The story telling is a highly crafted process with the Production of “Linoleum” but at times it can feel slow or long with plot points. Hanging in for the long haul will pay off in the end. Well worth any film fan who has a pulse and a soul’s viewing.