"A familiar yet impressively executed story.”
Sam Trammell is a junkie searching for redemption in All Mistakes Buried. Directed by Tim McCann, this character-centered film is a fast-paced yet moving story of a man’s degradation and his struggles to right his wrongs.
Sonny (Trammell) was once a successful businessman, running his own security-alarm company. On top of that, he was comfortably married to his loving and secure wife, Jen (Missy Yager). But Sonny became too full of himself and he eventually lost his wife and fortune. Now, he is a drug addict, smoking crack and living in a seedy motel with rattling air-conditioner in a neighborhood teeming with armed robbers and vicious nightclub owners.
When his wedding anniversary approaches, Sonny feels the need to reconnect with his wife. After shoplifting a greeting card, he sneaks into a pawn shop, hides there until closing time, and stealthily pilfers a necklace. However, an unfortunate encounter with a call girl leads to Sonny losing possession of the necklace as it is taken as collateral. His effort to retrieve the jewelry only results to a bigger problem as a club owner and crime madam named Frankie (Vanessa Ferlito), a foxy woman who shares a dark past connection with Sonny, pulls him into a dangerous major heist.
All Mistakes Buried has a common material but it is told in a cleverly fashionable style. Instead of presenting the story in a linear way, it switches back and forth between the protag’s flamboyant past and his cluttered present. Fractured chronology is nothing new but when executed artfully and masterfully, it can sustainably pick viewer’s interest, build heightening tension, and result to an overwhelming finale. That’s what the present movie did. Its weave of flashbacks and fine twists creates a wonderful whole. It simply goes to say that no story is bad when told really well.
In essence, the movie is a character study of a man striving to amend his past mistakes by doing one rightful act in the present, but only to be met with a string of misfortunes. He justifies everything in his wife’s name but it is really all about him. Whatever his mistakes in his past and present, in retrospect, are the products of his own ego and arrogance. It was his immense pride that drove his wife to desert him. His attempts may be sincere but it was only the same attitude that put him in his current predicaments. Yet, it is hard not to empathize with him, especially when the movie reveals its heart-crunching final twist.
Physical aspects of the film are also superb. The cheap motels, dark alleys, and sweaty neighborhood all work to generate a realistically eerie atmosphere. Needless to say, Trammel is remarkable, carrying the entire film with his convincingly spot-on portrayal of Sonny. He understands the character and delivers the suitable nuances of a troubled man in his fleeting moments of joy, hope, desperation and hysteria. Ferlito also does well in complimenting Trammell.
All Mistakes Buried is a surprisingly impressive character study. The actors, atmospherics and style of story-telling breathes renewed interest to an otherwise overused material. The end result is a moving and haunting feature.
Production: SSS Entertainment
Cast: Sam Trammell, Vanessa Ferlito, Nick Loeb, Missy Yager, Maria McCann, Nick Loeb, Sueann Han, Carl Palmer
Director: Tim McCann
Screenwriters: Tim McCann, Shaun S. Sanghani
Producers: Benjamin Brant Bickham, Shaun S. Sanghani
Executive producer: Sam Trammell
Director of photography: Alan McIntyre Smith
Production designer: Palmer Schallon
Editors: Chris Kursel, Tim McCann