May In The Summer – A Challenging Family Drama Beautifully Presented

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"May In The Summer,"  from Cohen Media Group and Displaced Pictures,  brings to the screen a contemporary drama of discovery as familial boundaries wax and wane allowing for new ideas, new lives, ideals and hopes to replace childhood dreams.

 

Written and directed by Cherien Dabis, "May In The Summer" stars Dabis as May Brennan, Alia Shawkat as Dalia, Nadine Malouf as Yasmine, her sisters. Bill Pullman stars as Edward Brennan, their father, and Hiam Abbass as Nadine, their mother.

Set in Amman, Jordan, "May In The Summer" opens with May on the plane preparing to descend into Jordan, filled with a million thoughts as she arrives, the plane dips slightly and a beautiful sun fills the window, creating a peaceful presence.

A celebrated and successful writer, May is engaged to Columbia University scholar, Ziad, a Muslin which, of course is the center of the family conflict.

While family loves May, and her sisters are happy, the fact remains she is marrying outside her religion. Born into a mixed family as her father, Edward, a seasoned diplomat, played by Bill Pullman, has a fetish for the smoky eyes and sultry darkness of Jordanian women.

His daughters, which are typical in psychological functioning of a three child family, the middle daughter, never really having to do much to fit in or please her parents, Yasmine, is quick to reveal the family secrets once told as it sets her apart from her siblings.

May, the first born, an A-typical achiever, will be and will live the life she planned. Ali Shawkat is Dalia, the third child, the baby of the family; she fortunately remains the apple of her parent's eye and her childish behaviors, totally understandable as she deals with her father's wife, who was his mistress during her formative years.

The family gathering is May's wedding. Slowly the fears, the "what ifs" are creeping in and May is coming undone. Returning to her home, in her parents' eyes, she is the same person she was, although all know she has the level of success, she is still treated as the girl.

Her parents as most in estrangements are driving her slightly crazy. Her mother, played by Hiam Abbass, has found Jesus and is now a practicing Christian with zero tolerance for May's fiancé and has adamantly insisted she will not attend the wedding.

Dealing with her father and his wife, Anu, played by Ritu  Singh Pande, who has decided May is her new confident is enough with pre-weeding week jitters to send any sane person over the edge.

A new man in May's life, a local, brings her solace and allows her to seriously question her decision without the adding the "I'll be alone" statement into the equation.

Her parents seem to each be having affairs and childhood curiosities reduce she and her sisters, to three giggling girls and seem to propel them to follow her to an midnight rendezvous. The scene moves from anger to frustration, surprise, confrontation and shock.

A beautiful film, "May In The Summer" is filmed entirely in Jordan. Dusty gold tones create a stunning backdrop as the film also is shot on location throughout Jordan including the Dead Sea.

Although not autobiographical, writer director Cherien Dabis summered in Jordan as a child and with a love for her homeland and a desire to show the world the beauty of the region, she artistically presents scenes that open the eyes of the viewer to a Jordan little known and hardly ever seen.

Granted it is Jordan where modern conveniences are limited and she doesn't shy away from showing the limits in the luxury and amenities.

The cast of seasoned characters actors create a genuine and though provoking dilemma, and of course, with divorced parents the idea of one happy family at a milestone event was played with enough truth to send even the most together adult to the therapist.

"May In The Summer" is a family drama that anyone who has experienced the sibling struggles of family identity can relate. The divorce of her parents, the feelings of abandonment, the nagging and festering questions of why her father would leave her and her sisters is played well as the girls gather for the forbidden cigarette discussing the intimacies of their lives.

Those questions are never answered and the burden becomes the daughters to adjust and seemingly bear until a second whammy ignites a second set of questions and fears.

"May In The Summer" challenges especially for those who have escaped the boundaries of a childhood or small town, or  parental beliefs of home and place and followed pursuits or beliefs about themselves.

"May In The Summer" opens in select markets August 22, 2014.

Haute Tease

  • In The Fade - A Powerful Tour de Force Film, Captivating, Challenging

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In The Fade, from Magnolia Pictures, brings to the screen the story of love, inconsolable loss, the manifestation of hate in a modern world, helplessness when the system fails, passion, revenge, desire and immeasurable and profound grief.

     
  • The Young Karl Marx Review - Engaging; Passionate; Funny; A Must See

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Young Karl Marx, from Canel+ and The Orchard, presents the story of one of the world’s greatest minds of the late 19th Century and the struggle to rise above those who fought against his life altering opinions.

     
  • The Complete Brain Exercise Book Review - Easy Mental Exercises Guaranteed to Keep The Mind Sharp

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Complete Brain Exercise Book, the second brain stimuli tome from Dr. Fraser Smith, picks up where he left off in Keep Your Brain Young, by penning an exercise manual guaranteed to keep the mind sharp and agile.

     
  • Wolfgang Puck Previews The Governors Ball Food & Beverage Menu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Governors Ball, hosted by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, recently held its Food and Beverage Preview steps away from the red carpet entrance to tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony.

     
  • How To Tell Skincare Hero’s From Skincare Zero’s

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The billion dollar beauty industry is built on promises and dreams. Skincare cosmetic giants promise glowing, healthy, vibrant, skin, and the consumer with dreams of tightening, firming, restoring, passionately reads the promises and purchases the key that provides the possibility.

     
  • I, Tonya Review – Triumphant; A Solid Gold, Four Star, Dramady

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I, Tonya, from Clubhouse Pictures, Neon and 30West, presents the story of Tonya Harding and the outrageous, unbelievable, amazing wild ride she took from poverty to the best figure skater in the world and her tragic, shocking, horrible crash.

     
  • The Midway Gallery Presents: She Bends: Women in Neon April 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Midway Gallery is pleased to present She Bends: Women in Neon, the largest, most inclusive all-female neon exhibition ever assembled. Curated by Bay Area neon artist Meryl Pataky She Bends features 32 artists who challenge convention.

     
  • Pilot of Doomed Malaysian Airliner MH 370 Main Suspect

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 nears the three month mark, the sad conclusion has wiped the doomed airliner off the media radar with the same intensity as the night the plane disappeared into the night sky enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Meets With PM Abe; Comey Media Whirlwind; ISIS/Kabul; UK/Commonwealth; SW Airlines; Columbine; Barbara Bush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump has extended an invitation to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently won an unprecedented fourth term, to the White House to reaffirm the dedication to global partnerships, engage in bi-lateral discussions and speak with the press.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Gives PT Speech, Media Outrage; San Bernardino; 2016 Race; Scott Weiland OD

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama presented a rare prime-time speech to address the nation on the San Bernardino Terrorist attack that killed 14 in an ISIS style mass shooting and the plan that he and coalition members have to address this new wave of terrorist attacks.

     
  • Updated: Coordinated Terror Attacks Devastates Paris; Hundreds Dead; Scores Injured; State of Emergency Declared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Parisians are waking this morning, Saturday, to the sickening news of yet another mass casualty terrorist attack that killed nearly two hundred and injured countless more plunging the nation into a State of Emergency and closing the borders.

     
  • Beltway Insider: ObamaCare Implosion; JFK 50th Remembered; Philippines Aid Trickles In; Virginia Senator Attacked

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama’s greatest legacy, that of a universal healthcare system that would guarantee all the access to medical care, has proven to be his worst nightmare and potentially the destruction of his legitimacy.

     
  • Top 5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining from Event Designer Jung Lee

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jung Lee, one of the world’s most sought-after event designers, respected for her passion, elegance and ground-breaking creativity understands not everyone has the time, inclination or even desire to tackle the holiday events with what has become her signature style.

     
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review – Enjoyable, A Masterpiece, Fun For All

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Captain Underpants from DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox Distribution, bring to the screen a charming imaginative adventure that shows the power of friendships, of collaborators, and the need for one true friend and fellow confidant.

     
  • The English Teacher Review – It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The English Teacher,” the comedy/drama from Inferno Entertainment and Artina Films Production, brings to the screen a charming dark tale of love, romance, fleeting passions, and literature.