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.
| Original Score: B+
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.
[Harris is] the big reason that "Natural Selection" is so engaging.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
In Harris' hands, Linda is guileless but believable, her smile so worn and wary that it almost hurts to see it.
| Original Score: 4/5
A skilful mixture of comedy and drama makes this the kind of film that keeps us off balance from start to finish.
| Original Score: B-
A coming-of-age portrait of a sweet, innocent, middle-aged Christian woman who bursts through the confines of a sexless marriage.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
The loser junkie and the chaste Christian lady make an odd couple, in an odd film, but the oddity gives way to an effortless, persuasive charm. They give us something to believe in.
Natural Selection ticks all the boxes with a firm grip. Its opening alone is a lovely cinematic coup.
Credit Pickering's deft script for avoiding the usual clichéd speed bumps, though sex and lies are on the menu.
A violent, witty, heart-wrenching and, most of all, awkward tale of one woman's travels to places beyond her own -- places that are painful and depressed, yet intoxicating with excitement.
| Original Score: 7.3/10
It'd be easy to thread this story through with condescension, but instead, it's modest and compassionate, a midlife awakening for a woman long out of touch with her own needs.
| Original Score: B
An engagingly offbeat comedy that respects its characters too much to push too hard for easy laughs, even when those characters risk making complete fools of themselves.
I'm still reeling at how high a level of difficulty this film worked at, with its bold tonal shifts, meshing of truly dark material and spastic physical comedy.
Stay tuned, however, for more from up-and-comer Pickering. The movie firmly puts him on the map.
Modest road-film comedy goes to extremes to liberate its middle-aged heroine from an ultra-conservative household.
Natural Selection mixes elements of Transamerica and the recent Higher Ground to tell the story of how a God-fearing fortysomething woman found the greatest love of all.
Natural Selection works because what it documents is less a transformation and more a return to a former, more natural state for its troubled protagonist.
| Original Score: 2.5/4