The Reception (2005)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Anger, desire, and jealousy fuel a bitter family reunion in this independent drama. Martin (Wayne Lamont Sims) is an artist stuck deep in a creative rut who lives in a small but comfortable home in upstate New York with Jeannette (Pamela Holden Stewart), a French émigré who has a sizable nest egg. Martin and Jeannette have an alternately warm and deeply dysfunctional relationship, and it might seem like a marriage to some if it were not for the fact Martin is gay. One day, Jeannette gets an unexpected visit from her daughter Sierra (Margaret Burkwit), who has not been on friendly terms with her mother for some time. Sierra and her husband Andrew (Darien Sills-Evans) have come ostensively to mend fences with Jeannette, though it soon becomes clear that the matter of Jeannette's estate is also a concern. As the four conflicting personalities interact within the small house, hidden attractions become clear and long-buried secrets rise to the surface. The Reception was the second feature film from independent filmmaker John G. Young, who reportedly shot the film using digital video equipment in only eight days on a budget of 5,000 dollars. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Reception
Handsome and perceptive, The Reception serves as a reminder that it is possible to make a polished, worldly and witty adult entertainment on a modest budget.
It's fine stuff, beautifully played, but there's no denying that viewers will have to be patient with this 80-minute chamber piece.
With its direct and nuanced treatment of the complexities of racial prejudice, sexual orientation and addiction, The Reception is a quietly ambitious and memorable film.
Terrifically acted and beautifully shot on digital video...The Reception is in many ways quite an indie accomplishment.
Audience Reviews for The Reception
In "The Reception", Jeanette(Pamela Stewart) and Martin(Wayne Lamont Sims) live on 300 acres in upstate New York but it's not really what you think. Jeanette is a wealthy French emigre while Martin is an artist who paints in the farmhouse and carries out odd tasks on the land. Martin also takes care of Jeanette who is in a fragile state and is pretty much through physically with men. Martin is gay. Their existence is pretty much routine until Jeanette's daughter, Sierra(Margaret Burkwit) shows up with her recently married husband, Andrew(Darren Sills-Evans) in tow for Jeanette's birthday.(Andrew is a law student.) Jeanette and Sierra have not seen each other in about three years and are very much estranged.(Jeanette had Sierra at a very early age and was admittedly not a very good mother.) Needless to say, revelations and complications fly fast and furious.
"The Reception" does cover some familiar ground but it is well-acted by a very capable cast, especially Wayne Lamont Sims. And it certainly helps that Stewart and Burkwit do look like they could be mother and daughter.
Lots of twists and turns that make it interesting. The actors all do a nice job. The flaw in this movie is the story upon which it is based is simply not a good storyline.
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