I Used To Be Darker
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I Used To Be Darker
When Taryn (Deragh Campbell), a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, MD, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill (Ned Oldham and Kim Taylor) have problems of their own: they're trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby (Hannah Gross), just home from her first year of college. A story of family revelations, people finding each other and letting go, looking for love where they've found it before and, when that doesn't work, figuring out where they might find it next. (c) Strand

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Porterfield's film doesn't offer much in the way of plot, but the ways the characters bounce off one another in small spaces are precisely observed, and the actors have a lot of soul ..."
‑ Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail
"The visual style of third-time director Matthew Porterfield ("Putty Hill," "Hamilton") is emphatically lyrical, beginning with a widescreen shot of a Maryland Ferris wheel that suggests a celebration of Americana."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Jeremy Saulnier's summer-spent cinematography is gentle and nothing shy of exquisite."
‑ Ray Pride, Newcity
"Few filmmakers are getting at the substance of contemporary life as effectively."
‑ Dan Sullivan, Film Comment Magazine
"It's hard to appreciate an intentionally blurry portrait of a family that's so impressionistic that all you can see of its already-withdrawn characters are their shadows."
‑ Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com
"Unfolds like a music album, with emotive songs supplying information that doesn't need repeating in the lean screenplay, which the director co-wrote with Amy Belk."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Nuanced performances by the non-professional cast and a haunting soundtrack help fill in the deliberate narrative gaps."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Globe
"Slow scenes at the beginning turn into the pace of life"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"This delicate, compassionate film has an emotional impact.It unfolds the austere European way, without the heavy baggage of backstory."
‑ Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
"There's some discordance between the film's overheated dysfunctional-family clichés and Porterfield's relaxed, watchful approach."
‑ Noel Murray, The Dissolve
"The couple, both musicians, are in the midst of a bitter breakup, and Porterfield frequently trains the camera on one or the other as each performs his melancholy tunes; this stops the narrative dead in its tracks."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Mr. Porterfield might sometimes be too subtle for his own good, but by taking us on a low-key ramble through the ever-shifting feelings of a fractured family, he has woven a dreamy, detached chronicle of dissolution and renewal."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"a celebration if you can call something this downbeat celebratory, of what film should act like and look like when you leave it alone."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"...by its end, the film had worked its way under our skin deeper than we expected, and through skilfully unobtrusive editing and camerawork, we felt we had a clear, honest picture of these lives."
‑ Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
"This vagueness of intent and of character construct mars a film with complex emotional arcs and often wickedly skillful dialogue, in which meaning is often in what's unsaid."
‑ Frank Lovece, Film Journal International
More reviews for I Used To Be Darker on Rotten Tomatoes