Way back in June, I made a little mention during my Seattle International Film Festival round-up about the buzz of the crowd coming out of Ellie Parker not being overly positive, and, boy-oh-boy, did I ever have the Naomi Watts fans all over me about that. I promised to see and review the film when it came back to Seattle, and lest you think I went into the film predisposed to dislike it, the truth is actually quite the opposite. I was hopeful, from the comments we received raving about Watts' performance in the film, that Ellie Parker would be a gem; furthermore, I like Naomi Watts as an actress, and so I went into the film wanting and hoping to like it very much. My reaction to the film, though, was somewhat mixed.
Ellie Parker was a mega-low budget film, one of those labor-of-love jobs; Naomi Watts both starred in the film and produced it. The low-budget effect shows - the film looks really grainy and amateurish at times, like it was filmed by a college kid making a film for a class project, who borrowed his dad's video camera and talked his classmates into acting in it. The film made the rounds of the festival circuit to mixed reviews and now, with distribution by Strand Releasing, it's coming (maybe) to a theater near you.