Actress Lori Petty makes her directorial debut with the The Poker House, screening in competition at the forthcoming Los Angeles Film Festival, and its 90-second trailer is a very well put-together thing, an effective selling of an autobiographically-tinged tale of shattered adolescence, a la Frank Whaley’s Joe the King or Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth. Set in 1976, and co-starring Selma Blair, Bokeem Woodbine and David Alan Grier, the movie centers around 14-year-old Agnes (Jennifer Lawrence, below left). With a strung-out
mother, a pimp father figure and a home overrun by gamblers, thieves
and johns, Agnes’ life is a tangled struggle of dark days and lonely nights. The narration (“When a girl falls in the city and nobody sees it, did it happen?”) could tip the finished product into over-sentimentalized pap, who knows, but it’s undeniably arresting in short-form here. Nice score from Mike Post, too.
The Los Angeles Film Festival runs from Thursday, June 19 through Sunday, June 29.
Over the course of 10 days and 11 nights, the public is invited to take
advantage of world premieres including independent films and major
studio releases, as well as tribute screenings, outdoor movies,
celebrity-filled red carpets and more. Festival passes and individual tickets are now
available; for more information, click here.