Yellow (SIFF 2013)

“Anyone who isn’t nuts isn’t responding properly to the insanity that surrounds them.”

Mary is living in Hollywood and trying to eek out a living as a substitute elementary teacher, but life is hard. She’s struggling with depression and anxiety, and though she can put on a relatively good front, when we first meet her she is barely coping. Things just seem to go downhill from there as bizarre fantasies and hallucinations take over her day-to-day interactions. She ultimately ends up injured, unemployed, and broke and heads back home to Oklahoma where a whole new set of problems awaits her.

This film was thoroughly bizarre, dramatically depressive, and completely entertaining all in one fell swoop. There are some very realistic depictions of how difficult it is to live with depression, and the glimpses into Mary’s vibrant visions are astounding. Mary’s character development over the course of the film is subtle, yet each new piece of information we learn about her helps to complete the whole picture of who she is. Yellow deals with real-life trauma and thought-provoking issues in a dynamic and inventive way, and I highly recommend it!

Provided Film Synopsis
Skittles are yellow, but that's not what Mary Holmes (Heather Wahlquist) is popping when she begins to have a breakdown. The substitute teacher is plagued by hallucinations and daydreams: her classroom going wild in a torrent of indoor rain as she stands calmly in the center of a chaotic world. She figuratively falls through the palm tree-lined streets of Los Angeles until hitting a scandalous rock bottom. Career in tatters, Mary retreats to her native Oklahoma, where she's newly confronted with the familial drama that running away couldn't leave behind. Nick Cassavetes' newest feature, co-written with Wahlquist, is a left-field jolt of hypercolor surrealism that's several gradients removed from his tender touchstone, The Notebook. With Cassavetes' vibrant, expressionistic flair, Mary's mind-melt is portrayed through both her actions and her visions. Wahlquist has earned festival nods for a performance of exquisite collapse, in a film Indiewire's Eric Kohn writes "suggests Bad Teacher by way of Bob Fosse and Todd Solondz."

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Nick Cassavetes
  • Cast Members:

    • Daveigh Chase
    • David Morse
    • Gena Rowlands
    • Heather Wahlquist
    • Lucy Punch
    • Max Theoriot
    • Melanie Griffith
    • Ray Liotta
    • Riley Keough
    • Sienna Miller
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
  • Genres:

    • Black Comedy
    • Drama