Written and Directed by Charles Oliver
This Films Has Not Yet Been Rated, but would probably be a PG-13 for the strong adult material.
The Festival started on April 25th with films about the environment, hosted by Al Gore. My festival's opening selection was "Take," the writing and directing debut of Charles Oliver, who tells a uniquely tragic and hopeful story of Ana, a struggling mother, and Saul, a struggling nobody with a gambling problem. We know that something has happened between the two, but what exactly it is is the mystery that Oliver takes us through during the film. All leading up to a climax in a grocery story that starts the beginning of an extremely tense and moving final act. The problem with "Take" is that there isn't much of a mystery. I was able to figure out exactly what happened between Ana and Saul before Oliver actually shows it, but the scene was still effective because of the powerful acting by Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner. Driver has been making a very deep impression on me between this and her work on "The Riches," and Renner has also done some decent work in the past. This is easily the best that I've seen him. "Take" is a story of both redemption and forgiveness, something that doesn't seem to happen enough.
I attended the world premiere of "Take." At the screening was director Oliver, Minnie Driver, some of the producers, and Bobby Coleman, the young actor who plays Driver's son. I do not see any reason why this should not be picked up anytime soon, and could be considered for Oscars at the end of the year, especially for Driver. Oliver does drama without being melodramatic, and is able to convey multiple symbols without being too pretentious. "Take" has a perfect tone, and conveys a beautiful message without getting overly preachy. It is a complex story, well written, and acted to perfection.