Bubble (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/10/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 73 mins

Opens London Film Festival: 26th October

Enjoyable low-key mystery drama that makes the most of its authentic locations and features an impressive cast of non-professional actors.

The Background
If you didn’t know that Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11, Erin Brokovich) was behind Bubble, you would swear it was the work of an assured first-time director making an impressive feature debut. In fact, the film is part of a deal signed by Soderbergh’s ground-breaking Section Eight production company, whereby six films will be shot on hi-def video and then released simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD and on television.

The Story
Bubble is set in blue-collar Ohio and features a cast of non-professional actors. Debbie Doebereiner plays Martha who works in a doll factory and has become friends with her younger co-worker Kyle (Dustin Ashley).

When the company recruits an attractive young woman named Rose (Misty Wilkins), Martha’s relationship with Kyle comes under threat as she sees him falling for the newcomer’s somewhat obvious charms. However, this deceptively simple set-up gives way to a murder mystery.

The Good
The matter-of-fact approach to the ostensible mystery structure adds a level of realism that is extremely effective. There’s a real sense of social observation to the film – at times we could be watching a documentary.

The Great
The performances are incredibly naturalistic. Debbie Doebereiner, in particular, is a revelation, creating a character that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever held down a low-level job. Similarly, both Misty Wilkins and Dustin Ashley convey huge amounts of information about their characters just through looks and the way they deliver their lines.

The Conclusion
In short, Bubble is an enjoyable drama whose low budget and refreshingly short running time proves superior to any number of overblown, multi-million dollar Hollywood movies. Soderbergh is really onto something here – here’s hoping other big name directors can be persuaded to slum it in a similar fashion with equally impressive results. Recommended.

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Bubble (15)
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Content updated: 13/12/2017 11:15

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