A sweet, inoffensive indie about damaged people hiding out in a desert trailer park, learning to regrow their wings and fly again, Dreamland centers on a teenage poet (Agnes Bruckner) devoted to the care of agoraphobic dad John Corbett and desperately ill best friend Kelli Garner. Jason Matzner's film leans heavily on the beautiful New Mexican desert sky that floats serenely above the action, paying, with cinematographer Jonathan Sela, as close attention to the quality of light as to the quality performances of a large cast (which also includes Gina Gershon, Chris Mulkey, and the Jake Gyllenhaalish Justin Long). A dissolute Corbett and a febrile Garner register particularly strongly. Garner, given to grasping power lines as part of her healing regimen, is so literally electric that her high-voltage performance outshines the hard-working Bruckner, our troubled protagonist and the biggest victim of the screenplay's forcing of life-lesson character arcs for all. Almost everyone is so damn nice, hugging and learning, that there's no room for the mulish eccentricities that constitute real human behavior, in or out of a trailer park.
Director: Jason Matzner
Writer: Tom Willett
Producer: Peter Heller, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding
Cast: Agnes Bruckner, Kelli Garner, John Corbett, Justin Long, Gina Gershon, Chris Mulkey, Luce Rains and Brian Klugman