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Quietly on By2005

  • 3.6
We first encounter Aaron (Anthony J. Baker) in the midst of a full-on screaming, crying freakout more appropriate to a tantrum-throwing toddler than a grown adult. As we gradually learn, life is not going as planned for Aaron (if, indeed, there ever was a plan in the first place). He's back living with his weary mother (Denise Blank) and a younger sister (Jennifer Knox) who is always "borrowing" money. Not long ago he was juggling two jobs; now he has none. Was what appears to have been a recent nervous breakdown triggered by his breakup with girlfriend Viki (Debi Hulka) who's already got a new boyfriend (writer/director Frank V. Ross) and is barely tolerating Aaron's attempts to be "friends" with them both? Our protagonist is so unsure of himself that he actually rehearses conversations alone before having them with other people. His hapless floundering toward (hopefully) a fresh start in suburban Westmont, Illinois is by turns funny, awkward, alarming, cryptic and, in the end, surprisingly poignant. This loose, unvarnished slice of life bears the same whiff of improvisationally-developed, seriocomic ordinary-folk realism found in many Mike Leigh films. - Dennis Harvey

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Member Reviews (1)

One of the first and only realistic portraits of a man desperate for love but to selfish to understand compassion. Quietly on By is a telling film with emotional ground unseen by the likes of Joe Swanberg or other mumblecore films.