In a small Ohio town fallen on hard times, Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) and Kyle (Dustin James Ashley) work at the local doll factory and have become unlikely friends. He is young, tall and single, she is middle aged, overweight and looking after an ageing dad. Their dynamic is disturbed with the arrival of a new worker: young, attractive single mother Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins), whose ex-boyfriend turns up angry one night, demanding she hand back the money she stole from him. Then a murder is discovered, and an investigation launched - with surprising consequences.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This micro budget film is the first of six to be made by US indie production company HDNet with Steven Soderbergh, testing the new digital distribution opportunities by releasing the film in the US in cinemas, on DVD and on the internet simultaneously. But that has little to do with the film's content, except that at 75 minutes, it's shorter than the average feature film.
Bubble is an intriguing work for other reasons, though: in some ways, Soderbergh takes us back to his iconic debut, sex, lies and videotape, where realism was the film's most powerful weapon. Here, using non professional locals and a shooting style (on HD) that approximates home video - although of a high quality - he has again captured a raw realism that is in itself compelling, even when the action on screen is not.
These evidently ordinary (as in normal, unexceptional) characters go about their rather dull lives with resigned desperation. Martha looks after dad with the casual ease of duty, while Kyle lopes through his daily routine as if waiting for a bus to the mall. Rose is more dynamic, and her presence ignites the film's dramatic conclusion.
Bubble is different and strangely compelling, even if it isn't to everyone's liking.
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STEVEN SODERBERGH INTERVIEW
CAST: Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins, Omar Cowan, Laurie Lee, Decker Moody, Kyle Smith, Daniel R. Christian,
PRODUCER: Gregory Jacobs
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
SCRIPT: Coleman Hough
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Soderbergh (as Peter Andrews)
EDITOR: Steven Soderbergh (as Mary Ann Bernard)
MUSIC: Not credited
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Not credited
RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 29, 2007 (Sydney)