Loss is never the same for any family. Every member, regardless of age, will process their grief differently, and it can happen in truly unpredictable ways. If you are young, dealing with the death of a family member or a new boyfriend can be a truly life-altering experience. In Scott Boswell’s intimate film, A Wake, a family learns details about their dead son with earned, emotional results.
When you are trying to contain or repress details about your family, secrets are bound to come out. It almost always happens. Mason is experiencing cryptic dreams after the death of his twin brother, Mitchel (both played by Now United’s Noah Urrea), and he is struggling to figure out who his brother really was. His younger sister, Molly, is determined to plan a proper wake for her older brother, but her eagerness to do well is undercut by her young age. Vanessa and Richard (played by Emilie Talbot and Kevin Karrick) are trying to balance their faith with the reality that their son died of an overdose.
Boswell has carefully crafted a screenplay about a family at different stages of grief. Molly is distracting herself while Vanessa and Richard are ignoring any potentially scandalous elements surround their son’s death. Urrea has the toughest job at playing two very different young men and he succeeds in providing mystery to a young man who was struggling with addiction and his sexuality at the same time. Boswell draws an interesting parallel to Mitchel an his older sister Megan (played by Megan Trout), the eldest in the family who had abandoned the family’s religious circle and finds herself drinking to escape. Kolton Stewart, as Mitchel’s boyfriend, Jameson, is a quiet presence on screen. He’s a young man who is comfortable in his own skin but he wants to show respect to his late boyfriend’s family.
Death can bring out such strong emotional reactions out of every one of us–especially if we find our questions impossible to be answered. Boswell’s film is sensitive and emotionally open.
A Wake is available to rent on Amazon.