Last Sunday, following a day at Austin Film Festival pressed with a dull board, a shockingly well-done outside shorts program, and the screening of a Reese Witherspoon film I’ve been quick to see for quite a long time, I shut the night with The Sideways Light at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. The thriller was a chilling top to the night.
In her expansive house, sextuagenarian Ruth putters around and converses with herself (or so we and her little girl expect). Agonized over her feeble mother, Lily (Lindsay Burdge, A Teacher, Frances Ha) has moved back home for the between time. Little girl Lily uneasily slips into the part of guardian as her mother turns out to be more innocent. She takes breaks offered by her brother Sam (Mark Reeb, Eve of Understanding, Sun Don’t Shine) to visit and play with bar proprietor Aidan (Matthew Newton, Queen of the Damned, Farscape).
Ruth has been determined to have early-onset Alzheimer’s, however that is not all she’s managing. She prefers not to go out in light of the fact that “they care for me.” Lily comes to acknowledge who “they” are as the film advances.