Natural Selection (2012)
Linda White (Rachael Harris), a devoted Christian housewife, leads a sheltered existence in suburban Texas. Her world is turned upside-down when she discovers that her dying husband, Abe, has a 23-year old illegitimate son named Raymond (Matt O'Leary) living in Florida. Somewhere on the edge of guilt and loneliness, Linda grants Abe's final wish and sets off on a quixotic journey to find Raymond and bring him back. Along the way, Linda's wonderfully bizarre relationship with Raymond will teach her more about herself than she ever imagined possible and force her to come to terms with her troubled past. -- (C) Cinema Guild … More
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Critic Reviews for Natural Selection
In the evolutionary spectrum of cinema, "Natural Selection" is like the duck-billed platypus, pretending to be warm-blooded but more than a little fowl.
However gritty this indie comedy may look (cinematographer Steve Calitri seems to be aping William Eggleston's photographs of the American south), it isn't all that different from an Adam Sandler vehicle.
In Harris' hands, Linda is guileless but believable, her smile so worn and wary that it almost hurts to see it.
A coming-of-age portrait of a sweet, innocent, middle-aged Christian woman who bursts through the confines of a sexless marriage.
Previously cornered in mousy or sarcastic roles, Harris is challenged by Natural Selection, bringing out the best in the actress, who I hope is offered more juicy dramatic opportunities like this.
A cracked road trip, marked by a pair of arresting leads turns, shot through with good intention but lacking in either deft enough execution or a tonal commitment one way or another that would tip it toward honest recommendation.
Harris gives it her all, despite Pickering's inability to steer a vehicle worthy of her talents.
A skilful mixture of comedy and drama makes this the kind of film that keeps us off balance from start to finish.
This movie demonstrates that it's a pretty rough place out there in Flyover Land. Harris and O'Leary are up to the challenge, and Natural Selection is a pleasant surprise.
Pickering has made a movie that mercilessly pokes fun at religious pretensions but still looks on his characters with warmth.
A commendable ultra-low budget indie road trip flick, "Natural Selection" fails to fire on all cylinders.
Natural Selection ticks all the boxes with a firm grip. Its opening alone is a lovely cinematic coup.
Audience Reviews for Natural Selection
Noticing her husband Abe(John Diehl, of "The Shield") at full mast in bed one morning, Linda(Rachael Harris) tries to initiate things but he stops her solid with a little prayer, feeling that sex should not done just for pleasure, as she is not able to conceive. At least, she can confide in her brother-in-law and church pastor, Peter(Jon Gries, of "The Pretender"). At least, Abe can masturbate in the privacy of donating sperm until he has a stroke while stroking off. As things do not look good for him, Linda promises him to bring back his biological son, Raymond(Matt O'Leary), before it is too late. Of course, their first meeting does not go as she imagined it...
"Natural Selection" is an engaging movie that in gentle and occasionally amusing tones manages to respect the beliefs and actions of its characters.(Although one could say that maybe Abe's stroke was divine punishment.) As much as it is about religion, one of the movie's central themes is birth and rebirth, especially in its opening scene, as this is the first time Linda is really away from home, as rules become less and less important as time goes on. Another way of looking at it is how children can wreck your life. So, while the movie is a little predictable at times in following the rules of the road movie, it also does not take the easy way out, especially at the end.
Natural Selection Quotes
- Now if you'll excuse me, I have children to attend to. They're our most important resource Linda.
- I could get a dude pregnant.
- [when meeting Raymond] So...do you have any hobbies, or aspirations.....or pets?
- ...but don't mind me or my starvin' baby!
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