Movie Review: Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah (Roadside Attractions)

Z for Zachariah
4 out of 5 Stars
Craig Zobel
Starring: Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG - 13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Recommended To: Anyone interested in seeing a smart character drama with sci-fi shading.

Synopsis: Ann (Margot Robbie) lives on her father's farm in a post-apocalyptic America. When Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) stumbles across her path she welcomes him into her home. Soon after another man, Caleb (Chris Pine), is found on her father's grounds causing tension and animosity to interrupt the previously peaceful countryside.

Review: Z for Zachariah was one of my favorite films at this year' Sundance Film Festival, but it wasn't nearly as well received by other critics, so I was anxious to see the film a second time to see if my assessment was off kilter. It wasn't.

Z for Zachariah is the sort of character drama that is smartly underwritten. It reveals just enough about the situation and allows its characters to react naturally. Its exposition is revealed subtly in conversation and what isn't disclosed isn't important to the story being told. Some may despise the fact that the film does end with a bit of mystery; I enjoyed having to explore what I think happened and the ramifications, if any, it would have. The cast is quite strong and while many have since come to the conclusion that Margot Robbie is a force to be reckoned with; it was seeing her in this film that convinced me that she was something special.Chiwetel Ejiofor is nothing short of fantastic and Chris Pine offers a little more depth than what you might be accustomed to seeing from the actor.

Z for Zachariah is a fantastic example of how to make a small budget film. Great scripts, minimal roles and locations and talented filmmaker, cast and crew can make little cinema look a whole lot bigger and more expensive than it actually is.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanMpainter

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