Robbie Pickering’s Natural Selection was one of my top five favorite films of last year. This movie is total indie magic, I swear. I’m usually a complete cynic, and relationships in cinema very rarely affect me. I got so emotionally involved in this film, it has to be some kind of perverse quirky magic. After screening at many well-known film festivals, it’s getting a limited release beginning on March 16th at the Angelika Film Center in New York City before continuing to other cities across the country. I implore you to go see it if it’s screening in your town.
Linda White (Rachael Harris), a devoted Christian housewife, leads a sheltered existence in suburban Texas. Her world is turned upside-down when she discovers that her dying husband, Abe, has a 23-year old illegitimate son named Raymond (Matt O’Leary) living in Florida. Somewhere on the edge of guilt and loneliness, Linda grants Abe’s final wish and sets off on a quixotic journey to find Raymond and bring him back. Along the way, Linda’s wonderfully bizarre relationship with Raymond will teach her more about herself than she ever imagined possible and force her to come to terms with her troubled past.
Every performance is perfectly on key, each character is a charming balance of flawed and sympathetic, it’s fresh, different, and very quirky. Pickering is a young filmmaker and even so early in his career, it’s apparent that he has a great talent at expressing his ideas through his work. It’s not a perfect movie; the film has some visible problems that are clearly a result of its very low budget, but there’s something really amazing about Natural Selection. Go see it! Check out the trailer below: