Parents' Guide to

Finding Agnes

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Stiff acting slows cheesy indie drama about finding family.

Movie NR 2020 105 minutes
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Be prepared for a slow-moving and at times amateur-feeling indie movie about a successful and very wealthy businessperson discovering family secrets. In Finding Agnes, the pacing is plodding and scene composition soapy. There are odd pauses between spoken lines of dialogue. Occasional audio issues further hurt the presentation of the film, like when spoken dialogue clearly doesn't line up with the mouth of the person speaking or when the audio suddenly changes volume, power, or tonality, as if the audio suddenly switched channels. But the film has heart, and despite the stiff acting and basic plot, there are genuinely touching moments here and there.

Where the film falls apart, however, is the writing. Inside each scene, the dialogue choices and flow are fine despite odd acting performances, but the overall decision not to have Virgilio show any emotion toward his horrible father is odd. For example, upon hearing that his father had demanded all Agnes's letters be thrown out and destroyed, Virgilio doesn't react or seem to care at all. Many of these letters obviously have information about why his mother had to leave and what she has been up to, things Virgilio now seems to care about, but for some reason, he has no ill feeling toward his father because of this. Further, he also shows no anger toward his father upon discovering that he was "horribly emotionally and physically abusive" to Agnes, and that is why she had to leave, to "seek sanctuary at a battered women's shelter, to heal, and find purpose in her life." Again, after hearing all this, Virgilio shows no emotion or anger and the only thing we do get is Virgilio saying after all this that he "respects" his father and thanks him for bestowing upon his son his work ethic.

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