Seattle International Film Festival writes, "Intended as a tribute to Jean Cocteau's classic ORPHÉE, Rick Schmidt gives the Orpheus legend a very contemporary twist. Here the central bond, the love that reaches beyond death, is not between a young man and woman, but between a mother and her small daughter. Shot in a lean, composed style, what is particularly striking about Schmidt's film is its sense of intimacy and simple emotional honesty. He encourages his actors to draw upon their own lives, their experiences of love and loss, in developing their characters, with highly satisfying results. This makes the film's few flights of fantasy all the more powerful, mysterious, and finally unsettling. AMERICAN ORPHEUS casts its own distinctive spell."