Review: ‘Acidman’

Dianna Agron And Thomas Haden Church Reach For The Stars In Memorable New Family Drama

Maggie (Dianna Agron) has not seen her father Lloyd (Thomas Haden Church) in years. That streak is about to come to an end in Acidman. After hours of traveling to the Oregon wilderness, Maggie gets to Lloyd’s house and is taken aback at the condition. The local hooligans have spray painted ‘Acidman’ across the front, the place looks run down, and there is junk everywhere. It is just Lloyd and his dog Migo living there. Lloyd does not seem to have any friends or have anyone to talk to – at least not anyone from this planet.

Lloyd, a former engineer, is obsessed with UFOs (or IFOs since they are now identified) and making contact. He takes Maggie to see three glowing orbs on the horizon, claiming they are spaceships. Using Morse code, Lloyd tries to contact them. While Lloyd is focusing on his relationship with potential aliens, Maggie wants nothing more than to repair her relationship with her dad. She wants what is best for him and joining him in his quest may be exactly what he needs. Before long, Maggie realizes that the two of them are more similar than she thought.

Alex Lehmann directed the film as well as co-wrote the script with Chris Dowling. Nearly the entirety of the film rests on Agron and Church’s shoulders. There is a small handful of other cast members, but they are few and far between. Agron and Church are more than up to the task, and both deliver moving performances. Acidman is all about connections and the one between Agron and Church seems genuine. They successfully capture the chasm between a daughter and her estranged father that coexists with an ever-present bond among parent and child.

Lehman and Dowling pen a strong script that creates a compelling story and never drags during the modest runtime. The script captures the fluidity of the relationship and the difficulties that are there. How a happy moment can be derailed by a triggering statement and vice versa. They depict the moments of joy, of sadness, and make sure to sprinkle in just the right amount of humor. Agron and Church tell just as much with no dialogue as they do through their lines. Their facial expressions and mannerisms masterfully conveying Maggie and Lloyd’s thoughts and feelings. Lehmann uses certain shots and background blurring to help further bolster character’s emotions. Acidman is an enjoyable drama that provides a unique element to help differentiate it and is certainly worth a watch.