Watch Cache for some interesting slow burning unresolved picture. Skip this one please
The pacing is deliberately slow as nuts. Thankfully, this is not just done for weird's sake, but to get across the mundane nature of the characters' work and lives.
Casting is key. These are not actors you will recognize. The performances are captivating, though. (Particularly the one by Debbie Doebereiner.) The fact that these are not familiar faces adds greatly to the realism of the flick.
If you haven't read a synopsis for this thing, keep it that way. The story is simple. The less you know, the more effectively it will play.
In the end, Bubble isn't any more enlightening or interesting than an episode of "Dateline," or any number of shows on A&E. But... That's not too bad.
This movie did something rather unprecedented by being released in theaters and on demand the same day, and then straight to DVD just a few days later. Why? I dunno. It's kinda cool though. That's not the only unconventional aspect of this production though.
This is the story of three employees at a doll factory in a small midwestern town. They live simple lives, barely scrape by, and slowly find themselves shaken out of their comfortable world when their routines change just a bit, especially in the case of one of them.
That's pretty much it, really. There's not much of a plot, and where there is, doesn't really come about until about 60 minutes into this 73 minute picture. There's no script, with the dialogue being improvised based off of an outline, and the actors are all local non professionals who use their own houses (clothes (I'm guessing), and kids. Soderbergh also acts as his own DP and editor, using various synonyms, although this isn't anything new for him.
The film is all about a sense of realism and authenticity, but I think it might get a little too real times. It's not a documentary, but it really feels that way, though somewhat stylized just a bit.
This is a quiet, almost eerie look into the ordinary and mundane lives of average citizens, and...it's pretty good. Yeah, it is rather slow and uneventful, but this is basically what it would be like if reality TV were, you know, real.
I liked this movie, but I think I respect it more. Despite not much going on, it is kinda unnerving. The end is a little bit rushed, but it does get somewhat fixed thanks to a deleted scene. Overall though, I applaud the performers for being so trusting, and I likewise give many props to Soderbergh for the nuanced way he paints these people. I say people instead of characters because it really feels like the most realistic thing I've ever seen.
This is definitely some very indie and artsy stuff, so if you're not into that side of Soderbergh's work, then skip it. If you dig this side of him, or it just sounds intriguing in general, then yeah, give it a look.
This experimental film of Steven Soderbergh wisely employs local non-actors of the Ohio/West Virginia area. It tells the tale of three factory workers who struggle to keep their heads above water in a region defined by poverty and hopelessness. These are the definition of your "everyday Joe's"--the ones that the rest of the world are quick to leave behind. They're forced to work multiple menial jobs, eat fast food for lunch, and rarely venture beyond their homes when they do have downtime. It's utterly captivating in a strange way, and you'll start to pick out the nuances in what is otherwise meaningless small talk.
What really helps to sell the approach are the camerawork and editing. Bubble is a very deliberately paced piece, told primarily through wide shots held back at a distance. I can recall only a handful of closeups across the entire piece, which works to an interesting effect. Soderbergh isn't afraid to hold a master shot for almost an entire scene (something you never see in modern cinema). As the viewers, this helps to make us feel as trapped by the outdated, oppressive environs as the characters themselves.
There's a wonderful scene where Martha goes to a tackle shop to buy some fishing gear, and the whole scene is played out in two equally wide shots, as if from the vantage point of security cameras in the corner. It's utterly overwhelming to look at, with the endless rows of bait and tackle all brightly colored against the wood paneling. But, in fact, Martha's behavior has layers of subtlety to it that contrasts in a really dynamic way. It lays the groundwork for much bigger plot developments in a way that you might only notice upon repeat viewings.
If I were to find a fault with the filmmaking, it's that Bubble feels like it's two movies in one. There is a murder, and of course the mystery that follows, but it comes in quite late. And as a short piece (the film is just under 75 minutes), it does seem like the film's modus operandi works against it in the pacing of the first half. It's a small complaint, but it keeps the piece as a whole from it's full potential. Otherwise, Bubble just further cements Soderbergh's place in modern cinema as a true visionary unafraid to tackle new challenges.