Cloudburst is the story of Stella (Olympia Dukakis) and Dot (Brenda Fricker), a lesbian couple who have been living, loving, and aging together for more than 30 years. When the mostly blind Dot has a small accident, her granddaughter maneuvers her into a nursing home, effectively leaving Stella alone and soon to be evicted from the home she’s lived in for decades. Stella sneaks into Dot’s new home and they steal away, embarking on a road trip to Canada to make their unofficial union legal.
On their way, they pick up a young hitchhiker named Prentice (Ryan Doucette) who is on his way home to visit his dying mother. Hijinks ensue, from their border-crossing to their strange visit to the young Prentice’s dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that much of what really makes up Stella and Dot’s relationship – the focus seems to be on the action, the road trip, Stella’s crazy antics. It’s really only in the presence of Prentice that we get more of a sense of Stella’s abrasive take-no-prisoners attitude and Dot’s quietly funny and supportive nature. He’s a perfect foil for the couple as they make their way through the gorgeous Nova Scotia landscape.
Adapted from Thom Fitzgerald’s successful theatrical play of the same name, Cloudburst, while slightly reminiscent of Thelma and Louise, has a different story to tell. The film’s strength is its matter of fact portrayal of a lesbian couple. It makes no crusades for same-sex marriage; it doesn’t have to. It just tells it like it is – the story of a couple with a 30-year relationship who have no legal rights to each other’s property or to any say in their care.
Cloudburst screens on Friday, May 25, 2012. Check the Inside Out website for details.
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