Samantha Morton's new drama film "The Harvest" a good treat for her fans
Reviewed by Oliver Carnay
One of the finest actors I admire -- Samantha Morton is starring in a new dramatic thriller, teaming up with director John McNaughton (in his first film in nearly fifteen years, after his 1986 horror HENRY: THE PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER).
Samantha Morton plays Dr. Katherine Young, husband to Richard (Michael Shannon) who is submissively helping her take care of their 9-year old bed-ridden son, Andy (Charlie Tahan). Andy is very sick and is dying of liver and heart failure -- that's why her mother is very protective of him. He doesn't ever go out of the house or even allowed to play with any children. His only happiness is playing video games and watching crows eat corns from a small cornfield covering his window.
Maryann (great actress Natasha Calis), a young teenage orphan longing of attention after her father died, was forced to move and live with her grandparents house (Leslie Lyles and a good amount of screen cameo from legendary actor Peter Fonda). She has no friends in school but soon discovered Andy while wandering around the houses neighborhood and curiously peeping into Andy's window. The two became secret friends.
But when Andy's mom Katherine finds out the special friendship between the two, she became furious. She will do everything so Maryann would stay away from her son and not step into their house, including paying visit to Maryann's guardians and making sure she is grounded. When Maryann finds out why, and uncovers Andy's family secret, she knew she needed to save Andy's life and take him out of his parent's house.
Academy-nominated actress Morton plays impressively (as usual in all her films) and very convincing as the over-protective and desperate surgeon mother who undermines her husband. Equally talented, Shannon's portrayal of a loyal husband whose only escape is having an affair with the supplier of the medications of his son, delivers a satisfying subtle performance but with great control. I was doubtful until the end if he is the villain or would be the heroine in the plot. The film is well-directed and worth your time.
THE HARVEST opens in Los Angeles on April 24 (it already opened in New York and on VOD April 10). See local listings for schedule of screenings.