Screening at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival
Oftentimes people delve into a dessert not knowing the ingredients but nonetheless enjoying the experience. The same could be said for Cold Weather. This deliberately paced film from low budget director Aaron Katz (Quiet City) offers a curious experience for the opening 25 minutes or so where it may not be obvious where the film is headed or even about the relationships between the characters but the entire ride remains intriguingly enjoyable.
The story starts with romantic comedy/drama tones with aimless forensic student drop out Doug (Cris Lankenau) seeking a quiet existence in Portland but he later becomes involved in a mystery involving his ex-girlfriend, code breaking and a briefcase full of money.
Unlike the big budget studio films which resort to overwhelming the senses with big budget effects and jump cuts, Director Katz keeps this film in first gear for pretty much the first act and though most of the film with long moments of stark visuals and sparse dialogue (practically an eternity in film time) but smoothly allows the film to marinate in various flavors.
Cold Weather represents one of the few brother-sister films (aside from You Can Count on Me) with a balance of quirky characters and curious pop references. The story works as detective drama caught up in a romantic comedy. Despite a tiny budget, the acting and production values remain strong with a few exceptions. Not a film for anyone with fast food film tastes but for anyone looking to savor a film. Cold Weather might show up cloudy and wet on screen but it warms the soul and occasionally tickles the funny bone.